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Winter: Depress^ Season or Time of Delight? 

§'' 'if See page 4. 

Thoughts for the New Year 

By Richard C. Winfield, Editor 

like, I wonder? Most of us 
have this question in our minds (if 
not in the forefront, at least lurk- 
ing in the recesses) as we begin a 
new year. And most of us begin the 
new year with a certain amount of 
optimism. We think that the new 
will be better than the old. 

It depends on us 

But in fact, whether or not the 
new year is better than the pre- 
vious one depends to a great extent 
on us. There are, of course, many 
circumstances beyond our control. 
The death of a loved one, sickness, 
tragedy, and other circumstances 
over which we have little or no con- 
trol can play a big part in deter- 
mining what kind of year we will 

Even so, for most of us, whether 
or not 1995 will be better than 
1994 depends to a considerable de- 
gree on us. And it will depend in 
large measure on those things over 
which we do have control. 

Will we be better people in 1995? 
Will we be more loving, more disci- 
plined, better organized? Will we 
spend more time in Bible study 
and prayer? Will we exercise more, 
eat less, and perhaps even lose a 
few pounds? These things will de- 
pend in large measure on us. 

Making New Year's resolutions 
has become something of a joke. I 
am reminded of 
the Pontius' Pud- 
dle cartoon we ran 
in the January 

indulge myself more, and share 
less of my resources with the 
needy." Which causes Pontius to 
observe: "Whatever else you say 
about the 90's — we've finally 
learned to make a New Year's 
resolution we can keep. 

Unfortunately, this is too close to 
the experience of many of us. We 
have been so disappointed by our 
lack of success in keeping past 
resolutions for self-improvement 
that we have given up on making 
New Year's resolutions. We have, 
either by design or default, re- 
solved to be our same old selves. 

But as Christians, are we justi- 
fied in being so pessimistic about 
changing for the better? Or even 
more to the point, does God's word 
allow us to be content with our old 
selves? I think not. 

Put off the old; put on the new 

The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4 
talks about putting off the old self 
and putting on the new. In verses 
22-24 (niv) he says: 

You were taught, with regard to your 
former way of life, to put off your old 
self, which is being corrupted by its 
deceitful desires; to be made new in 
the attitude of your minds; and to put 
on the new self, created to be like God 
in true righteousness and holiness. 

As Christian, we can't be content 
to be our same old selves. We are 
to put off the old and put on the 

new. And this is to be a continuing 

At the beginning of a new year is 
a good time to evaluate ourselves 
and to make a renewed commit- 
ment to this kind of process in our 
lives. This goes beyond making 
light-hearted resolutions for self- 
improvement. In fact, the reason 
so many of our resolutions fail is 
because they are just that — light- 
hearted and for se//-improvement. 
If we are going to make significant 
changes in our lives, we must go 
beyond that. 

To put off the old and put on the 
new, whatever form that may take 
in our lives, we must make a real 
commitment to do so. This involves 
more than a wimpy wish for it to 
happen; it takes an intentional 
commitment of the will. 

It must also go beyond self- 
improvement. We can't do it our- 
selves. We need God's help. If we 
attempt to do it in our own 
strength, we will fail. 

It's not too late 

By the time you read this, we 
will be a number of days into 1995. 
Perhaps you've already concluded 
that this year is going to be little 
different from past years — that 
you are going to continue to be 
your same old self. If so, I'd like to 
suggest that there is hope for 
change. And it's not too late for 
that change to begin. Every day, 
not just New Year's day, offers an 
opportunity for renewal in Christ. 

But it involves more than weak- 
willed resolution. It requires a 
strong commitment of the will and 
a deep, prayerful dependence upon 
God for His life-changing power. 

What kind of year will you com- 
mit yourself to in 1995? [ft] 

1993 issue of the 
Evangelist. Pon- 
tius says to his fel- 
low frog, "Hi, El- 
ton. Make any 
resolutions for the 
coming year?" 

Elton replies, 
"Sure did. I'm go- 
ing to ignore the 
world's problems, 


Pontius' Puddle 



The Brethren Evangelist 


January 1995 
Volume 117, Number 1 

The Brethren Evangelist 

(ISSN 0747-4288) 


Richard C. Winfield 

Children's Page 

Sandi Rowsey 

Editorial and 
Business Office 

524 College Avenue 

Ashland, OH 44805-3792 

Phone: 419-289-1708 

Published: Monthly (except 
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combined) by The Brethren 
Church, Inc., 524 College Ave., 
Ashland, OH 44805-3792. Au- 
thors' views are not necessarily 
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Member: Evangelical Press 

January 1995 


Thoughts for the New Year by Richard C. Winfield 

Whether or not 1995 will be a better year for us than 1994 depends in 

large measure on what kind of commitment we make. 

Winter by Charles R. Swindoll 

This time of year can be a depressing season or a time of delight, de- 
pending on the perspective we bring to it. 

Uncommon Devotion by John Shultz 

First of four articles on Acts 2:42, the 1995 General Conference theme 


7 Reasons to Pray by Victor M. Parachin 

Even though the Father knows our needs before we ask Him, we still 

need to go to Him regularly in prayer. 

Reaching Out to Your Neighborhood by Ronald J. Sider 

Any church with half a dozen folks who love Jesus and want to share 

His love with people in need can start a ministry to the community. 

The Hermeneutical Community by Brenda B. Colijn 

By reading and interpreting the Bible together, we are better able to 

understand and obey it. 

Ashland Theological Seminary 


Ministry Pages 

Serving God and The Brethren Church Through Ashland 

Theological Seminary by Frederick J. Finks 

Learning by Doing by Thomas Sprowls, Jr. 12 

Life on the Streets by Kurt Stout 12 

Answering God's Call by Gene Oburn 13 

Seminary and Church: Joining Education with Ministry 14 


Children's Page 

by Sandi Rowsey 
From the Grape Vine 
World Relief News 



Woman's Outlook Newsletter: The January-February Outlook Newsletter 
is in the center of this issue. 

Answers to the Little Crusader page: 

The first sentence should be number 3; the second sentence number 1; the 
third sentence number 4; and the fourth sentence number 2. 

The correct answer to question 1. is "no"; to question 2. is "no"; and to 
question 3. is "yes." 



you've got enough to make anybody forget 
ninety-five degree days, along with flies and mos- 
quitoes at an August picnic. What a difference 
perspective makes! 

Winter . . . the ideal occasion to slow down. To 
invest a few extra hours in quiet reverence. To 
take a long walk over the freshly 
fallen white manna delivered ear- 
lier that day. To remind ourselves 
that "our God 
is in the heav- 
ens; He does 
He pleases" 
(Psalm 115:3). 

Is it winter 
right now in 
the season of 
your life? Are 
you feeling 
depressed . . . 
alone . . . over- 
looked . . . 
spiritually on "hold" 

barren? Beginning to wonder if your soul will 
ever thaw? Entertaining doubts that behind 
those thick, gray clouds there exists a personal, 
caring God? 

Take it by faith, friend; He is there, and fur- 
thermore, He is neither dead nor deaf. What you 
are enduring is one of those dry-spell times when 
you'd rather curl up and cry than stand up and 
sing. That's okay. Those times come. 

They also pass. 

When this winter season ends, you'll be wiser, 
deeper, stronger. Therefore, in reverence look 
up. Be still and discover anew that He is 
God. That He is doing "whatever He pleases" 
in your life. [ft] 

This article is from the book Growing Strong in 
the Seasons of Life by Charles R. Swindoll (Zonderuan 
Publishing House), and was provided by the publisher. 


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By Charles R. Swindoll 

WINTER! Just the sound of the word whis- 
tling through our lips puts a mental chill up 
our spines. Winter seems to speak of barrenness, 
frigid feelings of discomfort and discontent, icy 
shadows sprawled across frozen ponds, naked 
branches reaching up as if in supplication for re- 
lief. Short days, long nights. Fast-fading memories 
of yesterday's fun in the sun. 

Heavy, gray clouds and harsh winds sting our 
faces and steal our smiles. With grim determina- 
tion we trudge on, sometimes alone and isolated, 
within our own little world of heavy garb and 
frosty windows. 'The dead of winter" — ah, an apt 

Not all agree. Ski buffs and snow lovers 
resent such a depressing portrayal of their ^ 
favorite season. So do artists who prefer a 
quaint cottage in New Hampshire rather 
than an ocean view at Malibu or a sandy 
beach at St. Thomas. For many, a year 
without winter would be a devastating 
disappointment. What better time to 
warm up alongside a crackling fire, lis- 
ten to some fine music, and stare away 
an evening? Toss in the joy of Christmas, 
the celebration of New Year's Eve, the 
Super Bowl, a Valentine's Day kiss . 

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The Brethren Evangelist 

Uncommon Devotion 

By John Shultz 

This is the first of four articles by various writers on Acts 2:42, 
the 1995 General Conference theme verse. 

And they devoted themselves to 
the apostles' teaching and fellow- 
ship, to the breaking of bread and 
the prayers. Acts 2:42, NRSV 

calls the office and says, "I 
won't be back." 

The supervisor responds with, 
"You mean you won't be in this 

"No, I mean I won't be back at 

all. I'm quitting." 

* * * * * 

Is it really that difficult to give 
two weeks notice or to give some 
explanation as to why it is not pos- 
sible to continue a working rela- 
tionship with an employer? 

A similar phenomenon occurs 
when a husband of 15 or 20 years 
says to his wife and young chil- 
dren, "I'm not interested in this 
family any more. I'm leaving." 

An example of devotion 

Compare the attitude of these 
two individuals with that of John 
Kline, a hard-working, prosperous 
farmer in Virginia. He became a 
Brethren elder in 1848, at the age 
of 51. He loved ministry and trav- 
eled extensively among the people 
and churches of western Virginia. 
Some accounts suggest that he 
traveled more than 100,000 miles 
on horseback in the course of his 
pastoral work. 

Kline devoted himself to Breth- 
ren doctrine and thus vigorously 
opposed slavery and military serv- 
ice. This stance created significant 
problems for him and others dur- 
ing the Civil War. If a person was 
unwilling to fight and ready to give 

Dr. Shultz, a member of the Ashland 
Park Street Brethren Church, is Profes- 
sor of Pastoral Counseling at Ashland 
Theological Seminary. 

January 1994 

aid to anyone in need, that person 
was viewed with suspicion by both 
sides. In spite of this, Kline trav- 
eled across military lines in 1862, 

1863, and 1864 to attend Annual 
Meetings. He was arrested and im- 
prisoned near Harrisonburg, Va., in 
1862, but was released with no 
charges after almost two weeks in 
jail. Distrust of the Brethren grew, 
however, and on his way home 
from a pastoral visit on June 15, 

1864, John Kline was ambushed 
near his home and killed. Because 
of Kline's uncommon devotion to 
his work, his principles, and the 
Brethren Church, he is one of our 
most notable martyrs. 

Where is devotion today? 

It is interesting that we often 
must resort to the annals of his- 
tory to find those who are loyal to 
the people in their lives or to an 
employer or to a philosophy of life. 
These days, convenience and per- 
sonal rights have replaced commit- 
ment and sacrifice. Devotion to 
anything, much less to the word of 
God, is all too rare. 

One look at the divorce statistics 
is enough to show that loyalty and 
devotion are uncommon qualities. 
In 1960, 393,000 divorces occurred 
in the United States. By 1990, this 
number had grown to 1,185,000. 
Six out of ten new marriages fail, 
in spite of the growing body of evi- 
dence that divorce wreaks havoc in 
the lives of both the children and 
the adults directly involved. 

What has changed since the time 
of John Kline? How can we foster 
devotion and loyalty to one an- 
other, to The Brethren Church, 
and to the cause of Jesus Christ? 
Indeed, if we show no devotion to 
the people we work for or to those 
with whom we are intimately in- 
volved, how can we expect to be de- 

voted to the apostles' teaching 
(which ultimately became a signifi- 
cant part of the Bible)? Perhaps 
one key would be to investigate 
how the early believers came to be 
devoted to the apostles' teaching? 

Before Pentecost, the disciples 
displayed no leadership, power, or 
authority. They trembled at the 
sound and sight of the soldiers who 
roamed the streets of Jerusalem. 
They huddled in their upper room 
to ponder and discuss what they 
might do next, fearing what would 
happen if they ventured into the 
streets. This made the thought of 
speaking up for the cause of Jesus 

But God had not given up on them. 
As they sought His presence, they 
were filled with a Spirit that sent 
them out of that room and literally 
throughout the world to proclaim 
the Story. And there was devotion 
to their teaching. People were com- 
mitted to learning. They were will- 
ing to sacrifice time and effort and 
eventually much more to know the 
Truth. They knew what we must 
all realize — that it is impossible to 
live the Christian life without the 
indwelling Spirit. Uncommon de- 
votion to others, to the church, or 
to Jesus Christ cannot be attained 
without the guidance and enabling 
of supernatural power. 

Changed by the Spirit 

The early believers were devoted 
to the apostles' teaching because 
they had been changed by the power 
of the Spirit. They were devoted to 
the apostles' teaching because it 
was a source of life for them. They 
were devoted to the apostles' 
teaching because they wanted to 
follow God's directions closely. 

Dare we be any less devoted? 
Does the scarcity of devotion in our 
world give us an out? Or must we 

ask the Spirit to help us be de- 
voted to the word that fills our 
lives with hope and direction? 

The other key to understanding 
the devotion of early believers to 
the apostles' teaching is found in 
what it offered them. They lived in 
a time when everything was up for 
grabs. There were a myriad of re- 
ligious and philosophical approaches 
to life. Everywhere they turned 
there were offers of hope, truth, per- 
sonal satisfaction, and pleasure. 

But what they experienced in 
the life of Jesus Christ and in the 
teachings about His words and ac- 
tions stood above all these philoso- 
phers and gods. They were trans- 

formed by the word because in it 
they found the Truth. In the apos- 
tles' teaching they found the ulti- 
mate source of hope, meaning, per- 
sonal satisfaction, and true joy. Is 
it any wonder, then, that they cen- 
tered their highest priorities on 
knowing more about Jesus? And is 
there really much difference be- 
tween their situation and ours? 

The end of the twentieth century 
finds us confronted with all sorts 
of claims about the nature and 
source of truth. Innumerable voices 
offer us empty promises of happi- 
ness and joy if only we would fol- 
low them. In such a time, it is im- 
perative that we be immersed in 

the word of God. Otherwise, what 
is to keep us from being "swept 
away by every kind of doctrine." 

• Pray that the Brethren would be 
people of uncommon devotion to 
God's word. 

• Pray that the Spirit would move 
us to find the life that Scripture 

• Pray that we would be devoted to 
follow Jesus no matter what the 

• Pray that we would be so im- 
mersed in the Truth that no false 
teaching would have a chance to 
appeal to us. 

Devote yourselves to the apos- 
tles' teaching. [ft] 


Reasons to Pray 

By Victor M. Parachin 

AFTER A SERIES of major 
crises, a man whose success as 
an attorney was well known in his 
community returned to the church 
of his youth, hoping to find peace 
of spirit. When a mid-week Bible 
study group was announced, he 
joined. During one session, mem- 
bers were examining the teaching 
of Jesus on prayer as found in 
Matthew 6:8 — ". . . your Father 
already knows what you need be- 
fore you ask him." 

When that verse was read, the 
man asked: "Why pray if God al- 
ready knows? Why bother with 
prayer if God is indeed all-knowing 
and ready to help?" His questions 
evoked a lively discussion. 

While it is true that God knows 
our needs even before we make 
them known, the Bible still stresses 
the importance of prayer. Here are 
seven reasons why Christians should 
regularly offer prayers to God. 

1 Prayer connects us to God 
and to God's power. "When 
we pray, we link ourselves 
with the inexhaustible motive 
power that spins the universe," wrote 

Mr. Parachin is a free-lance writer 
who lives in Virginia Beach, Va. 

Dr. Alexis Carrel, the surgeon- 
biologist who won the 1912 Nobel 
Peace Prize for his pioneering re- 
search making it possible to per- 
form blood transfusions safely. 

This distinguished scientist ob- 
served: "In prayer, human beings 
seek to augment their finite energy 
by addressing themselves to the 
Infinite source of all energy. When- 
ever we address God in fervent 
prayer, we change both soul and 
body for the better. It could not 
happen that any man or woman 
could pray for a single moment 
without some good result." 

2 Prayer is a way of shar- 
ing our burden. There are 
some problems which we 
find difficult, if not impossi- 
ble, to share with another human 
being. The issue may be so inti- 
mate, involving shame or guilt, 
that it is impossible to confide in a 
relative or friend. Here prayer is 
the answer. 

That is the thought behind the 
words of Joseph Scriven's popular 
What a Friend we have in Jesus, 
All our sins and griefs to bear! 
What a privilege to carry 

Everything to God in prayer! 

3 Prayer puts into words 
what troubles us. There 
can be no resolution to a dif- 
ficulty until it is identified 
and articulated. In fact, recent re- 
search indicates that talking about 
our pain is a medicine which heals. 
Dr. James Pennebaker, a professor 
of psychology at Southern Method- 
ist University, Dallas, Texas, says 
that confiding in others leads to 
healing. His research shows that 
people who speak about their trau- 
mas release negatively charged 
feelings and live healthier lives. 

Dr. Pennebaker cites the simple 
act of keeping a journal. Those 
who wrote out their traumatic ex- 
periences had fewer trips to the 
doctor, fewer health complaints, 
and fewer drugs prescribed than 
people who did not keep such a 
journal. Because of his research, 
Dr. Pennebaker recommends that 
people find ways to verbalize and 
ventilate life's hurts. Prayer is an 
effective way of doing that. 

4 Prayer reduces feelings of 
helplessness. Sometimes life 
can leave us feeling as though 
events are out of our control. 
When that happens, it is easy to 
feel both helpless and hopeless. 

The Brethren Evangelist 


Then, prayer is often the first step 
of action whereby we reclaim our 
lives and put order into chaos. Dr. 
Carrel observed: 

Prayer is the most powerful form 
of energy one can generate. It is 
a force as real as terrestrial 
gravity. As a physician, I have 
seen men, after all other therapy 
had failed, lifted out of disease 
and melancholy by the serene ef- 
fort of prayer. ' 

5 Prayer is a powerful re- 
minder we are not alone. 
Life's traumas always leave 
us feeling isolated, lonely 
and vulnerable. For that reason 
the scripture is consistent in re- 
minding us that we are not left to 
manage alone in the universe. In 
the Old Testament we read: 

Do not be afraid — I will save you. 
When you pass through deep 
waters, I will be with you; your 
troubles will not overwhelm you. 
When you pass through fire you 
will not be burned; the hard 
trials that come will not hurt 
you. For I am the Lord your God 
. . . who saves you. Isaiah 43:1-3 

And in the New Testament, Jesus 
promises: "I will be with you always, 
to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20). 

6 Prayer generates courage 
in the face of calamity. On 
February 3, 1966, navy pilot 
Gerald Coffee was shot down 
over the Gulf of Tonkin. Beaten 
and tortured, Coffee would spend 
seven years in solitary confine- 
ment. He vividly recalls the terror 
of his first days: "That heavy 
wooden cell door slammed shut 
and for the first time in my life I 
was completely alone and isolated 
in a totally hostile environment." 

Just as the sheer fear threatened 
to overwhelm him, Coffee saw this 
two-word prayer another prisoner 
had scratched onto the cell wall: 
"God = strength." He says that in- 
scription saved his life by infusing 
him with the courage he needed to 
deal with his dilemma. 


Prayer is a way of sifting 
through personal crisis. 

Turning to prayer during a 
time of great trial helps us 

focus and sort through the myriad 
of issues. It can give us a sense of 
direction. New York psychiatrist 
Frederic Flach calls prayer the 
"most vital ingredient" for coping 
with personal crisis. In his book, 
Resilience, Dr. Flach says that 
prayer "reminds us there can be a 
design for our lives that we may 
not fully grasp but that we can live 
up to if we move with events as 
they evolve." 

NOW that you have finished 
reading this article, why not 
retreat to a quiet place and unbur- 
den your heart to God. If you feel 
as though you have lost your way, 
express to God in simple sentences 
what has transpired and what you 

If your burden is so great that 
tears rather than words flow, keep 
in mind this statement by Augustine: 
"Prayer is a question of groaning 
rather than speaking, tears rather 
than words. For He sets our tears 
in His sight, and our groaning is 
not hidden from Him who made all 
things." [*] 

Reaching Out 
To Your Neighborhood 

Do you ever read about the wonder- 
ful outreach and service programs of 
some large churches in the U.S. or 
abroad, then throw up your hands in 
despair, thinking your small congrega- 
tion could never carry out such a pro- 
gram. If so, the following may cause 
you to change your mind. 

OKAY, I've heard stories about 
these wonderful wholistic min- 
istry programs at churches like .... 
But how could my congregation 
ever start that kind of big, excit- 

Dr. Sider is Professor of Theology 
and Culture at Eastern Baptist Theo- 
logical Seminary and president of 
Evangelicals for Social Action. This ar- 
ticle is based on his new book, Cup of 
Water, Bread of Life, published by Zon- 
dervan in 1994. The article was pro- 
vided by the publisher. 

January 1995 

By Ronald J. Sider 

ing, comprehensive ministry? The 
little circle of committed people in 
my church could never start that 
kind of program. It all seems too 
big and complex and expensive. 

Do you feel like this? I know 
many people do, but there's a sim- 
ple solution. You don't have to start 
big. In fact, starting small is the 
way to go. 

Jesus Action 

Let me tell you about Jesus Ac- 
tion, which Ichthus Fellowship in 
London started about 20 years ago. 
Jesus Action is not complex or po- 
litical. Ichthus simply posts signs 
around the neighborhood inviting 
people to call the Jesus Action 
phone number if they need help. 
Ichthus volunteers then respond to 
the various requests. They help 

with gardening, shopping, baby- 
sitting or just visiting. People 
without transportation can get a 
free ride to the hospital. It doesn't 
take much training and almost 
anyone can do it. 

They never force Jesus on those 
they serve. Faith Forster, a leader 
in the Ichthus Fellowship, says, 
"We don't go in and start pushing 
them to become Christians." But 
eventually, people ask questions 
and many have come to faith in 

One day a woman who had just 
left a hospital called Jesus Action. 
A single parent, she needed to shop 
for food and wash her clothes, and 
she didn't know how to get her six- 
year-old into school. 

Somewhere she had seen the 
Jesus Action number that Ichthus 

"All God is asking today is for you to decide with a few friends that 
you really could offer 'Jesus smiles* and helping hands to a neigh- 
bor in need." 

posts everywhere. "Is this Jesus 
Action?" she asked Faith over the 

"Yes," Faith responded. 

"Well," the woman went on, "I 
want the action but I don't want 
the Jesus. I don't want anyone ram- 
ming religion down my throat." 
Faith assured her that would not 
happen. After Faith helped her 
with the washing and shopping, 
the woman invited her to sit down 
for a cup of tea. 

Ten minutes later, the woman 
blurted out: "OK, what's all this 
about Jesus?" 

Teasingly, Faith reminded her, 
"We had an arrangement not to 
shove religion down your throat." 
The woman insisted, and Faith 
shared the gospel and prayed with 

Evangelistic opportunities often 
result from simply caring for peo- 
ple's needs. Every three months, 
Ichthus has a supper for those who 
have been helped by Jesus Action. 
Afterward, they share the gospel. 
Some begin to come to church as a 

Today Ichthus Fellowship has a 
large program with a variety of 
evangelistic and social ministries. 
But they didn't start big. The same 
is true for virtually all the large, 
comprehensive, wholistic ministries 
that rightly inspire us today. 


June Kelsall operates several 
residential homes for abused women 
in Auckland, New Zealand. It started 
in a small interdenominational 
women's praise group. June and 
the others began to sense a call to 
go into "the highways and byways." 
For six months they prayed for di- 
rection. They felt led to organize a 
drop-in center where people could 
drink tea and chat. "We all felt we 
were capable of making tea and 
smiling Jesus smiles and caring 
for people." 

June is grateful they did not 
have to start big: "If the Lord had 
given us great big instructions, we 


probably would have run the other 
way." From that small beginning, 
Dayspring has developed into a pro- 
gram that includes three residen- 
tial homes for poor women — often 
the victims of abuse — and their 
children. Most of the hundreds of 
thousands of dollars in annual fund- 
ing comes from secular sources, in- 
cluding government agencies. But 
all the staff and board members are 
Christians from area churches. "The 
sort of care we give," June says, "is 
love with no strings attached. They 
don't have to come to the Lord, but 
they do!" 

How to get started 

It's not hard to start a simple 
Jesus Action program in your 
church. All you need is half a dozen 
ordinary folks who love Jesus and 
want to share his love with real 

Practical Ways to Help a 
Neighbor in Need 

¥ Get information for them on local 
support groups. 

¥ Provide a meal for them. 

¥ Take them out for a meal. 

¥ Make telephone calls for them. 

¥ Answer their telephone for them at 
their time of loss. 

¥ Help their children with homework. 

¥ Drive children to school and to other 

¥ Baby-sit their children. 
¥ Clean their house. 
¥ Drive them to church. 
¥ Mow their lawn. 

¥ Take letters or packages to the post 
office for them. 

¥ Take them home-grown fruit or veg- 

¥ Telephone before going to the 
grocery to check for needs. 

¥ Ask if you can place their name on 
the prayer list of a congregation or 
prayer group. 

By M. Gregory Richards, author of 
When Someone You Know is Hurt- 
ing: What You Can Do to Help (Zon- 
dervan/Harper Paperbacks, 1994). 

people in need, and a phone num- 
ber where messages can be left. Let 
each person agree to volunteer at 
least two hours per week in respond- 
ing to calls for help. Pray together, 
and have one person praying at 
the time each person responds to a 

Post signs in your neighborhood 
(or some nearby area where there 
are needy people): "NEED HELP? 
Call Jesus Action," and give the 
phone number. Don't pretend to be 
able to handle every problem. Re- 
fer difficult ones to social service 
agencies or professional care-givers, 
and go along the first time to be 
sure they get help. 

You don't need to do an elaborate 
evangelism training program to 
get started. After you have helped 
a person, ask them, "Is there any 
special way you would like me to 
pray for you?" People are often de- 
lighted to have someone pray for 

Almost any church could do it 

Almost any church could start 
this kind of simple Jesus Action 
program in the next three months. 
Usually, one thing will lead to an- 
other, and your church may develop 
one or more larger programs to get 
at frequently recurring, underlying 
problems you will discover as you 
do the Jesus Action ministry. As 
you develop ongoing personal 
friendships with the people served, 
people will come to Christ. Your 
church will probably grow. 

But you don't need to worry now 
about what might happen in com- 
ing years. That will take care of 
itself. All God is asking today is for 
you to decide with a few friends 
that you really could offer "Jesus 
smiles" and helping hands to a 
neighbor in need. Photocopy a few 
dozen simple notices, post them, 
and you are off and running. 

Imagine what might happen if 
this year, in a dozen local churches, 
small teams started this kind of min- 
istry! What if it happened in a hun- 
dred churches? Or a thousand? [ft] 

The Brethren Evangelist 

the Bible 

of the Protestant Reformation is 
the right of all believers to read and 
interpret the Bible for themselves. 
Unfortunately, some of the descen- 
dants of the Reformation, particu- 
larly in America, have understood 
this to mean that when we read the 
Bible, any opinion about its meaning 
is as good as any other. "What it 
means to me" is all that counts. 

But what do we do as a church 
when we have a question about doc- 
trine or practice or a conflict be- 
tween interpretations? In a hierarchi- 
cal environment, the church leader- 
ship decides. In a democratic or plu- 
ralistic environment, congregations 
and individuals go their own way. 
Brethren have tried to live by a third 
approach that holds the individual 
and the church in tension — an ap- 
proach that has been called the her- 
meneutical community. 

The hermeneutical community is a 
form of corporate biblical interpreta- 
tion in which the gathered body dis- 
cusses issues of interpretation in or- 
der to arrive at a Spirit-led consensus 
on matters of faith and practice. How 
Brethren Understand God's Word ex- 
presses it this way: "As part of our 
commitment to one another, Breth- 
ren read Scripture together to help one 
another understand and obey it" (p. 6). 

Biblical Basis 

The hermeneutical community is 
one expression of the responsibilities 
we have toward one another as mem- 

Dr. Colijn is a member of the Smoky 
Row Brethren Church in Worthington, 
Ohio. She chairs The Brethren Church's 
Committee on Doctrine, Research, and 
Publication, which is preparing this 
series of articles. 

January 1994 

The Hermeneutical 

By Brenda B. Colijn 

bers of Christ's body. It enables us to 
achieve the unity of mind that God's 
word commands us to have (Acts 4:32; 
1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:11; Phil. 2:1-2). 
Colossians 3:12-17 describes the 
attitudes and actions that make up 
this dynamic: 

Therefore, as God's chosen peo- 
ple, holy and dearly loved, clothe 
yourselves with compassion, kind- 
ness, humility, gentleness, and pa- 
tience. Bear with each other and 
forgive whatever grievances you 
may have against one another. For- 
give as the Lord forgave you. And 
over all these virtues put on love, 
which binds them all together in 
perfect unity. 

Let the peace of Christ rule in 
your hearts, since as members of one 
body you were called to peace. And 
be thankful. Let the word of Christ 
dwell in you richly as you teach 
and admonish one another with all 
wisdom, and as you sing psalms, 
hymns, and spiritual songs with 
gratitude in your hearts to God. 
And whatever you do, whether in 
word or deed, do it all in the name 
of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to 
God the Father through him. (NIV) 

Thus, we are to teach one another 
from the word of Christ in humility 
and love, bearing with one another as 
we work toward unity. A growing unity 
in the faith and in the knowledge of 
Christ should be evident as the body 
of Christ functions properly to build 
itself up to maturity (Eph. 4:13). 

The early church showed this ap- 
proach in action when it dealt with 
the thorny problem of how to admit 
Gentiles into the church (Acts 15:1- 
35). The church in Antioch sent Paul, 
Barnabas, and some other believers 
to the apostles and elders in Jerusa- 
lem. The apostles and elders received 
their input and discussed the issue in 
light of Scripture and what God was 

doing in their midst. Then "the apos- 
des and elders, with the whole church" 
decided to send some of their own 
people to the Gentile believers in An- 
tioch along with a letter containing 
their decision about the issue (v. 22). 
The apostles and elders took the lead 
in decision-making, but they involved 
the whole church in the process. 

Brethren Practice 

Brethren have always had the confi- 
dence that we could find the "mind 
of Christ" about matters of faith and 
practice by discussing them in the light 
of Scripture with the help of the Holy 
Spirit, who would "guide [us] into all 
truth" (1 Cor. 2:14-16; John 16:13). 

Michael Franz describes this proc- 
ess among the eighteenth-century 

When they come together in the 
meetings they display among them- 
selves a childlike, simple, humble 
reverence in order to appear before 
their great majestic king, Lord and 
God Sabaoth, and to be taught by 
Him and not by men. It is Christ 
who speaks through them; therefore 
it is not the word of man but rather 
the word of God. They also accept it 
as God's word and the Word grows 
in them as a seed sowed by God in 
a well prepared field of the heart. 
Because it is the same kind of seed, 
it therefore grows to the same 
knowledge of the Son of God to be 
one heart and one soul with one 
another because then tlxey have one 
heart, soul and knowledge, and rec- 
ognize together one evangelical 
foundation according to the truth. 
Thus one serves the other with the 
gift which he has received, they are 
subject one to the other in the fear 
of God, and hold fast to humility. 
(The Brethren in Colonial America, p. 450.) 

This description shows several 
commitments necessary for the func- 



"The hermeneutical community is a form of corporate biblical inter- 
pretation in which the gathered body discusses issues of interpreta- 
tion in order to arrive at a Spirit-led consensus" 

tioning of the hermeneutical commu- 
nity: reverence toward God; a hum- 
ble, teachable spirit; an expectation 
that God will speak through the gath- 
ered community; a desire to grow in 
the word; a common evangelical foun- 
dation; mutual service; mutual sub- 
mission; and a goal of unity in heart, 
soul, and mind. 

Throughout our history, our prac- 
tice of bringing questions to Annual 
Meeting or General Conference grows 
out of this concept of the hermeneu- 
tical community. Although Annual 
Meeting did not always live up to this 
ideal, the impulse behind it was that 
the larger body could be trusted to 
resolve questions of faith and prac- 
tice by searching the Scriptures to- 

In the 1880s, our own branch of 
the Brethren (the Progressives) re- 
belled when the decisions of Annual 
Meeting were made binding on all 
Brethren. However, in our reaction 
against one distortion of the herme- 
neutical community, we sometimes 
fell prey to another — the American 
individualism that puts personal 
opinion above the consensus of the 
larger body. 

We have been trying to work out a 
balance ever since. We have at- 
tempted to live out the idea of the 
hermeneutical community in recent 
discussions about issues of faith and 
practice — for example, in our discus- 
sions of baptism and ordination, as 
well as in our development of the 
Centennial Statement and the state- 
ment on biblical interpretation, How 
Brethren Understand God's Word. 

Theological Significance 

The hermeneutical community is 
one aspect of the priesthood of all 
believers. It is also an extension of 
the biblical concept of the body of 
Christ (Rom. 12:5-8; 1 Cor. 12:12- 
31). As such, it is neither a monarchy 
nor a democracy, neither hierarchi- 
cal nor purely congregational. It rec- 
ognizes the diversity of the body but 
strives to maintain its unity. It also 
recognizes the interdependence of the 
body. The gathered body in union 


with its Head, Jesus Christ, has a wis- 
dom which any single member lacks, 
but to which each member contrib- 
utes. This approach also respects the 
wisdom of those who have been 
gifted by God and trained to pastor, 
teach, and lead the body. 

The hermeneutical community 
counters the excessive individualism 
of our culture. While it recognizes 
the importance of each individual 
and allows each individual a voice, it 
also requires each individual to sub- 
mit to Christ and to other believers. 

Practical Application 

Putting the hermeneutical commu- 
nity into practice requires five com- 
mitments on our part. First, this com- 
munity can exist only among those 
who share the same biblical and theo- 
logical foundation and have a com- 
mon commitment to Jesus Christ. 
We Brethren have been working to 
clarify our foundation with such 
documents as the Centennial State- 
ment and How Brethren Understand 
God's Word. 

Second, it requires the intentional 
education and encouragement of all 
believers in order for all members of 
the body to take part. Third, it re- 
quires hard work, a willingness to 
search the Scriptures and spend time 
in discussion and concerted prayer. 
Uninformed opinions and personal 
preferences are not enough. 

Fourth, it requires a willingness to 
listen to one another, learn from one 
another, and confront one another 
in love. We must sometimes be will- 
ing to acknowledge that someone's 
interpretation — even our own — is in- 
adequate or wrong. Remember that 
the aim isn't just sharing feelings or 
opinions, but arriving at the truth 
(see Eph. 4:14-16). 

Fifth, it requires mutual submis- 
sion (Eph. 5:21). This is not a one-way 
submission to the one in office or the 
one with the greatest education or 
the traditional way of doing things or 
the largest number or the loudest 
voice. This is a mutual trust that en- 
gages in no suspicion of persons or 
motives. It asks us to bear with one 

another when we disagree and to 
have patience with the consensus 
process. It requires that we submit to 
the decision of the larger body when 
consensus has been reached, even if 
our position was not adopted. It al- 
lows no hidden agendas, no punitive 
actions, and no grudge-keeping. 

The hermeneutical community can 
be practiced at all levels of the church. 
In the local church, pastors can allow 
some time for congregational dia- 
logue about sermons. Sunday school 
classes can be times for discussion, 
not just for listening to a lesson. 
Men's and women's groups can ad- 
dress issues of importance to the 
larger church. Small group Bible stud- 
ies are a particularly effective context 
in which to interpret the Bible to- 
gether and bring it to bear on issues 
of practical living. Such groups can 
build both community and account- 
ability as we try to be faithful to the 
word together. 

We could make time for Bible stud- 
ies and discussion at district and Gen- 
eral Conference, at pastors' confer- 
ences, and at meetings of the auxilia- 
ries. We can also model this ap- 
proach at the national level as we 
work through issues of faith and 
practice, and as we seek God's will 
for the future of our denomination. 

The Committee on Doctrine, Re- 
search, and Publication hopes that this 
series of articles will be one avenue 
where corporate interpretation can 
take place. We welcome correspon- 
dence to carry the discussion for- 
ward.* This article itself incorporates 
suggestions from correspondence we 

As we read the Bible together, we 
will find that "what it means to me" is 
less important — and less satisfying — 
than "what it means to us, guided by 
God's Spirit." Let's make the herme- 
neutical community a reality in The 
Brethren Church! [ft] 

*If you have suggestions, comments, or 
questions for the Committee on Doctrine, 
Research, and Publication, please send them 
to the committee in care of The Brethren 
Evangelist, 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 

The Brethren Evangelist 

nht r Wornayis Outfoo%jAwsUtfrer- 

OL publication, tftkt fyethreH ^Woman's (Missionary Sorittq 

January-February 1995 

Volume 8, Number 3 

ike presidents ^m 

Dear Ladies, 

I trust your holidays were times full 
of fun and fellowship with family and 
friends. Our family was all together 
between Christmas and New Year's. 
Our son, Glenn, married Sarah 
Hollewell on New Year's Eve at the 
Ashland University Chapel, so now I 
have three daughters-in-law, and I 
love them as my own daughters. We 
love being together for the holidays or 
for any time at all. With seven grand- 
children, it makes for a fun time. 

I read a story in a devotional book 
about a "Leaky Roof." A man, driving 
down the road, stopped when he saw a 
farmer looking at the ruins of his barn. 
The man asked what happened and the 
farmer replied, "Roof fell in. Leaked so 
long it finally rotted through." 

"Why didn't you fix it?" asked the 

"Well, see," replied the farmer, "it 
just seemed I never did get around to 
it. When the weather was good, there 
weren't no need for it. And when it 
rained, it was too wet to work on!" 

It is easy for us to think, "Someday 
I'll live for Christ and let Him have 
complete control of my life." This atti- 
tude is no different than the farmer's. 
In Matthew 7:24 we read, 'Therefore, 
whosoever heareth these sayings of 
mine and doeth them, I will liken him 
unto a wise man, who built his house 
upon a rock." That's the secret of build- 
ing a "good roof as well as laying a 
solid foundation of strong Christian 

As we begin a new year, now is a 
good time to give your life completely 
over to Christ. Allow Him to lead and 
guide you in all of your everyday de- 
cisions and actions. You will begin 
building a strong foundation for your 
Christian life. 

Has your society been looking over 
the WMS Constitution? Make sure you 
take time to do this and send any sug- 
gested changes to your district presi- 
dent. Thanks to the societies that sent 
(continued on page 3) 


Text: And, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, 
till it came and stood over where the young child was. Matthew 2:9 

Christmas is over, gifts and decora- 
tions are put away, and even the man- 
ger scene is back in the box. A few 
weeks ago, I thought about each part 
of the traditional manger scene pack- 
age — the cattle, a few sheep, the scrag- 
gly shepherds, and the well-dressed 
wise men. How shall I arrange them 
this year around the Holy Family? 
Now they are neatly packaged again. 

Conversely to our modern-day pag- 
eants, the shepherds and the wise men 
were not at the manger at the same 

According to the Scriptures, the an- 
gel spoke to certain shepherds — not to 
all who were in the field — caring for 
their sheep and protecting them from 
the wild animals lurking in the dark. 
The shepherds were supposed to be 
brave men, but the brightness of the 
angel dazzled and frightened them. 
"Fear not," the angel said, "for unto 
you ..." My paraphrase is, "Jesus is 
with you; don't be afraid." (We teach 
this truth to our children, too.) The 
shepherds hurried and found Jesus in 
the manger at Bethlehem. 

After Jesus was born, the wise men 
in the east saw the shining star. They 

studied the skies and read the Old 
Testament prophets; hence, they were 
acquainted with the prophecy of the 
Messiah. They believed the dazzling 
star foretold the Messiah's birth. 

They expected the King to be born in 
Jerusalem, the city of David, so they 
traveled by camel to find Him. After 
inquiring of King Herod, they followed 
the star; they found Him; and they 
bowed down and worshiped Him. 

We can only assume the star led 
others to seek Him, but the wonderful 
fact is that we don't have to follow the 
star. He is here! He became flesh and 
dwelt among us! When He ascended to 
heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to live 
within us! 

Today, instead of following the star, 
we follow Jesus, the Good Shepherd, 
who leads us daily. What kind of sheep 
are we? Cute and fuzzy, obedient, 
appreciative of green grass and cool 
water; or disobedient, wayward, falling 
over the cliff, getting caught in bram- 
bles? Jesus the Good Shepherd re- 
claims us from sin and gently cares, 
provides, and loves us. 

Aren't we blessed because we follow 
Jesus, not a star? 

^Missiom/u <jMiscdlcuuj 

Jim Black, Executive Director of the 
Missionary Board of the Brethren 
Church, and Reilly Smith, Director- 
elect, will visit India and Malaysia in 
January and February. This initial 
trip for Reilly is important for both 
him and Jim, as well as for the na- 
tional missionaries. They appreciate 
your prayers. 

The missionaries for January are 
our friends in Colombia, South Amer- 
ica: Dave and Diane Kerner and their 
children Erin, Joel, Karla; and Ken 
and Carolyn Solomon. The Kerners 
live in Bogota and the Solomons are in 

Medellin. Both are very large and 
beautiful cities, but both are very dan- 
gerous cities. Pray for their physical 
health as well as their safety. 

The February missionaries of the 
month are three families engaged in 
Home Mission churches: Rickey and 
Glenda Bolden and their children 
Joshua, Caleb, and Leah at the South- 
east Christian Fellowship in Washing- 
ton, DC; Mark Logan at the 340 
Brethren Church in Elkton, VA; and 
Charlie and Linda Beekley and their 
son, Tim, at Mountain View Brethren 
(continued on page 4) 

W.M.S. DIRECTORY — 1995 


President — Mrs. Shirley Black, 102 High 

St., Ashland, OH 44805. Phone: 419-289- 

Vice President — Mrs. Judy Tinkel, 308 S. 

Main St., Milford, IN 46542. Phone: 219- 

General Secretary — Mrs. Nancy Hunn, 

555 W. Market St., Nappanee, IN 46550. 

Phone: 219-773-5578 
Ass't. Secretary — Mrs. Trudy Kerner, 

1209 King Rd., Ashland, OH 44805. 

Phone: 419-289-2833 
Financial Secretary — Mrs. Joanne Kroft, 

608 Twp. Rd. 1151, RD 5, Ashland, OH 

44805. Phone: 419-962-4679 
Treasurer — Mrs. JoAnn Seaman, 1314 

Davis Rd., Ashland, OH 44805. Phone: 

Literature Secretary — Mrs. Kathy Mack, 

121 E. Liberty St., Ashland, OH 44805. 

Phone: 419-281-3057 
Ass't. Literature Secretary — Mrs. Doris 

Shultz, 455 S. Countryside Dr., Ashland, 

OH 44805. Phone: 419-289-0202 
Editor of the Outlook Devotional Guide — 

Mrs. Jeanette Sullivan, P. O. Box 638, 

Milledgeville, IL 61051. Phone: 815-225- 

Editor of the Outlook Newsletter — Mrs. 

Joan Ronk, 1325 Coachman Ct., Ashland, 

OH 44805. Phone: 419-281-3050 
Subscription Secretary — Mrs. Ginny Hoyt, 

728 Davis St., Ashland, OH 44805. 

Phone: 419-281-5300 
Sewing and World Relief Coordinator — 

Mrs. Joan Merrill, 9300 S. St. Rt. 3, Mun- 

cie, IN 43702. Phone: 317-289-2384 



Acting President — Helen McConahay, 
2736 Bradenton Rd., Lot 18, Sarasota, FL 
33580. Phone: 813-351-1409. Summer ad- 
dress: 4718 Egypt Rd., Smithville, OH 
44677. Phone: 216-669-2944 


President — Susan Kidd, Rt. 1, Box 24, 

Bridgewater, VA 22812. Phone: 703-828- 

Vice President — Mary Garver, 407 Main 

St., New Windsor, MD 21776 
Secretary-Treasurer — Virginia Hook, 3056 

Old Washington Rd., Westminster, MD 

Ass't. Secretary-Treasurer — Sandy Miller, 

22918 Berry Circle, Smithburg, MD 



President — Adele Ritchey, RD 3, Box 252, 

Berlin, PA 15530. Phone: 814-267-3880 
Vice President — Sheila Nemeth, Box 

324B, Acme, PA 15610 
Secretary-Treasurer — Joy Zook, 179 Bond 

St., Johnstown, PA 15902 
Ass't. Secretary-Treasurer — Marsha 

Nulph, 361 Stoneyhollow Rd., Cabot, PA 


President — Patti Bub, 115 Scott, West 

Manchester, OH 45382. Phone: 513-678- 

Vice President — Lois Barnhart, 123 Paula 

Dr., Germantown, OH 45327 
Secretary-Treasurer — DeAnn Oburn, 409 

Luther St., Ashland, OH 44805 
Ass't. Secretary-Treasurer — Joanne Kroft, 

608 Twp. Rd. 1151; Rt. 5, Ashland, OH 


President — Susie Stout, 502 US Bus. 31 

S., Peru, IN 46970. Phone: 317-473-3455 

* From 

Vice President — Wanda Armentrout, 8 

Jade Rd., Huntington, IN 46750 
Secretary-Treasurer — Beverly Baker, 

1127 Bryon Dr., South Bend, IN 46614 
Ass't. Secretary-Treasurer — Cindi Stout, 

Rt. 1, Box 215, Frankfort, IN 46041 
Financial Secretary — Charlene Rowser, 

64905 Mcintosh Lane, Goshen, IN 46526 
Ass't. Financial Secretary — Matilda Stout, 

Rt. 2, Box 10, Peru, IN 46970 


President — Melva Staples, P.O. Box 296, 

Milledgeville, IL 61051. Phone: 815-225- 

Vice President — Anita Hollewell, Rt. 2, 

Box 11, Lanark, IL 61046 
Secretary-Treasurer — Gini Hutchison, Rt. 

1, Box 145, Milledgeville, IL 61051 


President — Carolyn A. Tucker, 1500 Com- 
munity Dr., Derby, KS 67037. Phone: 

Vice President — Cathy Britton, 740 N. 
Woodlawn, Derby, KS 67037 

Secretary — Joyce Medved, 1418 Todd 
Place, Wichita, KS 67207 

Treasurer — Marilyn Minor, Rt. 3, Box 440, 
Ft. Scott, KS 66701 


President — Marie Fanning, 5772 E. 

Seneca St., Tucson, AZ 85712. Phone: 

Vice President — Georgia Stuber, 16103 N. 

Avenida Del Oro, Tucson, AZ 85737 
Secretary-Treasurer — Ina Williams, 4529 

E. Blanton Rd., Tucson, AZ 85712 

Northern California 

Acting President — Audrey Steyer, 3634 
Monitor Circle S., Stockton, CA 95219 


Names and Addresses of 
W.M.S. Presidents 

Florida District 

Sarasota Day — June Shaw, 625 Caruso 

PI., Sarasota, FL 34237 
Sarasota Evening — Eileen Higgins, 3176 

Aspinwall St., Sarasota, FL 34237 

Southeastern District 

Bethlehem Mary and Martha — Susan 

Kidd, Rt. 1, Box 24, Bridgewater, VA 

22812. Phone: 703-828-4987 
Bethlehem Senior — Mae L. Wenger, Rt. 1, 

Box 204, Linville, VA 22834. Phone: 703- 

Cumberland — Vergie E. Greenawalt, 917 

Maryland Ave., Cumberland, MD 21502. 

Phone: 301-724-1105 
Hagerstown — Mary (Jackie) Rogers, 122 

S. Locust St., Hagerstown, MD 21740. 

Phone: 301-797-4334 
Linwood — Virginia M. Hook, 3046 Old 

Washington Rd., Westminster, MD 

21157. Phone: 410-848-5587 
Maurertown — Elsie Mogle, Rt. 1, Box 

199E, Woodstock, VA 22664. Phone: 703- 

Mt. Olive — Mabel Bailey, Rt. 1, Box 285, 

Port Republic, VA 24471. Phone: 703-249- 

Oak Hill — Amy L. Crouch, 140 Virginia 

St., Oak Hill, WV 25901. Phone: 304-465- 

Southeast Christian Fellowship — Helen B. 

Cooksey (Acting), 1111 Clark Ave., Wal- 
dorf, MD 20602. Phone: 301-843-8994 
St. James — *Myra Poffenberger, 17815 

Gardenview Rd., Hagerstown, MD 21740 
St. Luke — Carol Coffman, Rt. 2, Box 141A, 

last year's Directory; no new information. 

Woodstock, VA 22664. Phone: 703-459- 

Pennsylvania District 

Berlin — Edith Hoffman, Rt. 1, Berlin, PA 

Brush Valley — Dawn Gettinger, Rt. 1, 

Adrian, PA 16210 
Cameron — Joy Anderson, Rt. 1, Box 169, 

Aleppo, PA 15310. Phone: 412-428-5238 
Fairless Hills — Alice Zimmerman, 171 S. 

Myrtlewood Ave., Langhorne, PA 19047 
Highland — Marilyn Reynard, 583 High- 
land Ridge Rd., Marianna, PA 15345 
Johnstown II — Joy Zook, 179 Bond St., 

Johnstown, PA 15902 
Johnstown III — Dolores Golby, 1781 

Goucher St., Apt. 402, Johnstown, PA 

Main Street — Helen Courtney, 336 North 

St., Meyersdale, PA 15552 
Masontown — Mildred Wheeler, 701 North 

Main St., Masontown, PA 15461 
Mt. Olivet — Madlyn Davis, Rt. 1, Box 249, 

Georgetown, DE 19947 
Pleasant View — Nancy McGraw, 1491 

Hancock Ave., Apollo, PA 15613-8407 
Raystown — Bonita Chamberlain, Rt. 1, 

Saxton, PA 16678 
Sarver — Marsha Nulph, 361 Stoneyhollow 

Rd., Cabot, PA 16023. Phone: 412-352-3528 
Sergeantsville — Mrs. James Culberson, 

P. O. Box 67, Sergeantsville, NJ 08557 
Valley — Vera Schroyer, Rt. 3, Box 449, 

Acme, PA 15610 
Vinco — Brenna Mackall, Rt. 1, Box 284, 

Mineral Point, PA 15942 
White Dale — 'Rita Varner, P. O. Box 414, 

Kingwood, WV 26537 

Ohio District 

Brethren Bible — Karen Moran, 7852 George- 
town Rd., Louisville, OH 44641. Phone: 

Fremont — Co-Presidents: Marcia Miller, 

216 S. Park Ave., Fremont, OH 43420. 

Phone: 419-332-0531; and Judy McLaugh- 
lin, 1815 James St., Fremont, OH 43420. 

Phone: 419-334-4887 
Garber — Donna Stoffer, 1509 Old Post 

Rd., Ashland, OH 44805. Phone: 419-281- 

Gratis — Ruth Focht, 8947 S. Preble County 

Line Rd., Germantown, OH 45327. Phone: 

Gretna Gleaners — Nettie Hudson, 4653 

C.R. 11, Bellefontaine, OH 43311. Phone: 

Gretna Lamplighters — Susan Bechtel, 

4165 C.R. 13, Bellefontaine, OH 43311. 

Phone: 513-592-9163 
Hillcrest — *Marijane Stanley, 923 Brit- 
tany Hills Dr., Dayton, OH 45459-1520 
Newark — Florence Crist, 66 Raw Ave., 

Newark, OH 43055. Phone: 614-354-2034 
New Lebanon Afternoon — Jane Metzger, 

1 Lawson Ave., New Lebanon, OH 45345. 

Phone: 513-687-1186 
New Lebanon Evening — Marva Phelps, 

11329 Little Richmond Rd., Brookville, 

OH 45309. Phone: 513-687-1004 
North Georgetown — Evelyn Romigh, 

26009 Georgetown Rd., Homeworth, OH 

44634. Phone: 216-525-7404 
North Georgetown Evening — * Wanda 

Powell, 2090 Tanglewood Ave., Alliance, 

OH 44601 
Park St. Faith — Pauline Benshoff, 1317 

Lake Dr., Ashland, OH 44805. Phone: 

Park St. Hope — JoAnn Seaman, 1314 

Davis Rd., Ashland, OH 44805. Phone: 

Park St. Joy — Janet Rufener, 128 Lilac 

Woman's Outlook Newsletter 

Lane, Ashland, OH 44805. Phone: 419- 

Smithville — *Karen Troyer, 456 W. Main 

St., Smithville, OH 44677 
Trinity Jr. — Sharon L. Dixon, 633 Buck- 
waiter Ave., Massillon, OH 44646. Phone: 

Trinity Sr. — Arlene Heist, 1245 Manor 

Ave., SW, Canton, OH 44710. Phone: 216- 

West Alexandria I — Marilyn Ward, 2356 

New Market Banta Rd., West Alexandria, 

OH 45381. Phone: 513-839-4204 
West Alexandria II — Marti Sorrell, 128 E. 

High St., Eaton, OH 45320. Phone: 513- 

Williamstown — Barbara Main, 6781 S.R. 

12 W., Findlay, OH 45840. Phone: 419- 


Indiana District 

Ardmore — Kathy Galbreath, 23674 St. Rd. 

2, South Bend, IN 46619. Phone: 219-232- 

Brighton Chapel I, Day — Leona Long, 

5455 N. 610 E., Howe, IN 46746. Phone: 

Bryan — Anna M. Moog, 630 S. Walnut St., 

Bryan, OH 43506 
Bryan Susanna — Ann Cummins, Rt. 2, 17- 

420-17F, Bryan, OH 43506. Phone: 419- 

Burlington — Cindi Stout, Rt. 1, Box 215, 

Frankfort, IN 46041. Phone: 317-566- 

College Corner — Tamie White, 2817 W. 

850 S., Wabash, IN 46992. Phone: 217- 

Corinth — Lois Thomson, Rt. 5, Box 229B, 

Logansport, IN 46947. Phone: 219-663- 

County Line — *Dianna Phillips, 12823 

Walnut Hill Dr., Lakeville, IN 46536 
Dutchtown — Sandy Sharp, 681 E. May St., 

Leesburg, IN 46538. Phone: 219-834-4601 
Flora — Co-Presidents: Rose Pullen, Rt. 1, 

Box 339, Flora, IN 46929. Phone: 219- 

967-3584; and Kathleen Brummert, Rt. 4, 

Box 39, Delphi, IN 46923. Phone: 317- 

Goshen — Co-Presidents: Eloise Fields, 

1319 E. Reynolds St., Goshen, IN 46526. 

Phone: 219-533-8512; and Patricia Wogo- 

man, 1502 S. 14th St., Goshen, IN 46526. 

Phone: 219-533-3934 
Huntington — Marjorie Teusch, 1146 Supe- 
rior St., Huntington, IN 46750. Phone: 

Loree I — Doris Deisch, Rt. 1, Box 89, Peru, 

IN 46870. Phone: 317-473-6052 
Loree II Charity — *Marcia Payne, Rt. 5, 

Box 15A, Peru, IN 46970 
Meadow Crest — Corine Austin, 8840 St. 

Joe Rd., Fort Wayne, IN 46835. Phone: 

Mexico — Jennifer Keyes, Box 56, Mexico, 

IN 46980. Phone: 317-985-3289 
Milford — Deanna Ladd, 863 N. Timberline 

Cir. E., Warsaw, IN 46580. Phone: 219- 

Nappanee — 'Bonnie Hertsler, 652 Miami 

Dr., Nappanee, IN 46550 
New Paris - — Eleanore Morehouse, 19185 

US 6, New Paris, IN 46553. Phone: 219- 

North Manchester Hadassah — Delia 

Davis, 305 Hickory Lane, North Man- 
chester, IN 46962. Phone: 219-982-6274 
North Manchester Joy — Joyce McBride, 

903 East St., North Manchester, IN 

46962. Phone: 219-982-6422 
Oakville — Joan Merrill, 9300 S. SR 3, 

Muncie, IN 47302. Phone: 317-289-2384 
Peru — Rosalyn Roller, 470 W. 14th St., 

Peru, IN 46970. Phone: 317-473-7096 
Roann — Sandra Medsger, P.O. Box 246, 

Roann, IN 46974. Phone: 317-833-7691 

January-February 1995 

Roanoke — Sharon Williams, Box 33, 
Roanoke, IN 46783. Phone: 219-672-3252 

South Bend — Eleanor Porte, 540 E. Oak- 
side, South Bend, IN 46614. Phone: 219- 

Tiosa — 'Carol Scott, 4137 E. 550 N., Roch- 
ester IN 46975 

Wabash — Phyllis Meyer, 6855 W. 200 N. 
St. 30, Wabash, IN 46992. Phone: 219- 

Warsaw — Lee Bair, 619 Nancy, Warsaw, 
IN 46580. Phone: 219-267-2659 

Central District 

Cerro Gordo — Elaine Dresbach, Box 354, 

LaPlace, IL 61936 
Hammond Ave. — Ruby Williams, 1930 

Howard Ave., Waterloo, IA 50702 
Lanark Neoma — Pauline Erbsen, Rt. 2, 

Box 207, Lanark, IL 61046 
Lanark Friendship — Sharon Witt, Rt. 1, 

Box 1, Lanark, IL 61046 
Milledgeville Beacons — Dorothy Ruth 

Glenn, P.O. Box 385, Milledgeville, IL 

Milledgeville Priscilla — Wendy Wiersema, 

Rt. 2, Box 216, Chadwick, IL 61014 

Midwest District 

Derby Dorcas — * Marie Rauber, 2307 S. 

Broadview, Wichita KS 67218 
Falls City — Audrey Bennett, 2010 Fair 

Ave., Falls City, NE 68355 
Fort Scott — 
Mulvane — Dorothy Mills, 504 Emery, 

Mulvane, KS 67110 

Southwest District 

Tucson Evening — Iris McKinney, 6717 
Calle Mercurio, Tucson, AZ 85710 

Tucson Faith, Hope, Charity — Freda 
Lawson, 3328 N. Richey Blvd., Tucson, 
AZ 85716 

Northern California District 

Stockton — Audrey Steyer, 3634 Monitor 
Circle S., Stockton, CA 95219 



(second year) 

The President's Pen (continued) 
in news items to Joan Ronk for the 
Newsletter. It is always interesting to 
read what other societies are doing, 
and it may give ideas to other groups 
of fun and interesting things to do at 
their meetings and programs. Keep 
the news coming! 

In the last Outlook Newsletter, the 
names and addresses of Home Mission 
churches were printed. Why not send 
them a card from time to time and just 
encourage them in their work? I know 
they would appreciate hearing from 

Until next time, remember "Charac- 
ter is one thing we build in this world 
that we carry into the next." 

God Bless You, 
Shirley Black 

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the 
death of his saints. Psalm 116:15 

W.M.S. Members Deceased 
During 1993-1994 


Maurertown Margaret Malone 

Hagerstown Ruth Stoddard 


Masontown Caroline West 

Johnstown Third Charlotte Vitalie 

Alice Grumbling 

Violet Grumbling 

Alberta Jones 

Pleasant View Martha Stewart 

Johnstown Second Ruth Ely 

Patricia Rhodes 


Trinity Senior Evelyn Speirs 

Gretna Lamplighters Margery Tanger 
Gratis Kay Zimmerman 

New Lebanon Afternoon 

Rosalie Miller 
Park St. Faith Helen Shively 


Goshen Adeline Miller 

Bryan Beulah Ridenour 

Anna Obermeyer 

Frances Miller 

Waiva Taylor 

Ardmore Bertha Wyatt 

Lucille Daniels 

Gretchen Smith 

North Manchester Hadassah 

Martha Dickerhoff 

Mary Gresham 

South Bend Agnes Rose 

Leona Seeley 

Dutchtown Mary Fidler 

Oakville I Edith Haddin 


Cerro Gordo Faryl Stuart 

Loretta Metzger 


Sarasota Day Irene Lutz 


Stockton Nona Daughenbaugh 


Published bimonthly in January, 
March, May, July, September, and 
November by the Woman's Missionary 
Society of The Brethren Church. 

Mrs. Dorman Ronk, Editor 
1325 Coachman Court 
Ashland, Ohio 44805 

Subscription price, $7.50 per year in 

Send all subscriptions to Mrs. Robert 
Kroft, 608 Twp. Road 1151, RD 5, Ash- 
land, OH 44805. 

Missionary Miscellany (cont.) 

Church in Frederick, MD. Share your 
encouragement, love, and prayers with 
these families. And pray for their 
groups of worshipers, that followers of 
the Lord Jesus will remain faithful. 

The following letter was ^^^ 
received just before the ded- \'<'<>\ 
ication of the addition on the \^* 
Northwest Chapel in Tucson. This 
small congregation was the recipient of 
the Growth Partners Call, which is re- 
ceived and administered through the 
Missionary Board. When you read the 
last paragraph, you will know why our 
pastors need our prayers. 

October 17, 1994 
Dear Joan, 

Life here has been very hectic. Our 
two boys, now 9 and 11, keep us very 
busy with school and sports. When you 
add to that the building project, four 
Bible studies between David and me, 
his duties as a pastor, and my job as a 
secretary, sometimes it's miraculous 
just that we see each other at all! 

The building is indeed going very 
well. Just two weeks till dedication. I 
don't know exactly where we are with 
Growth Partners, but I have been told 
that giving is exceeding past averages. 
As the building grows, excitement and 
energy increases in the Body as well. 
We have had two baptisms in the last 
five months, with five children and six 
adults baptized and becoming mem- 
bers. God is adding some true "leaders" 
to this church, and their gifts are 
already being seen and felt. It's as 
though there is an energy in the air, 
like the feeling before a storm breaks, 
but a feeling of excitement rather than 
tension. David and I feel very fortu- 
nate to be a part of this work. 

My job as a secretary at the Arizona 
State Schools for the Deaf and the 
Blind is going well. I work three-quar- 
ter time, which allows me to see the 
boys off to school most days, and most 
often I can be here after school when 
they get home. 

That pretty much brings you up to 
date on us. I really do love being a pas- 
tor's wife, though sometimes it's a real 
strain on our personal lives. Unlike 
other couples, we can't say, "Boy, we've 
been working really hard — we've 
hardly seen each other. How about a 
family weekend away?" Since I work 
Monday-Friday, a mid-week break is 
pretty tough to do. But God always 
works things out for us to recharge. He 
truly does provide all our needs! 
In Christ, 

Dawn West 

450 W. Cool Drive, Apt. 120 
Tucson, AZ 85704 

'District Qoinns 

Three Indiana district rallies were 
held during October. Cindi Stout wel- 
comed the southern district ladies to 
Burlington. The theme verse was "I am 
the vine; you are the branches" (John 
15:5a). Cindy Scott of Corinth gave the 
devotions, acting out different stages 
of life while growing up. She empha- 
sized how we need to hold firm to 
Christ throughout life. Mary Bilbee pre- 
sented a poem, "If You Stand Very Still." 

Marilyn Aspinall, Bryan, returned 
missionary from Argentina, was the 
special speaker. She talked about the 
culture shock she has suffered since 
being back in the States. She men- 
tioned that in Argentina broken homes 
are very few. In fact, they are very 
family-oriented. They are together for 
birthdays, anniversaries, etc. And life 
is less hectic there. 

Marilyn shared her theme verse, 
Psalm 85:8. She emphasized that we 
should do good all the days of our lives 
and prefer others over ourselves. She 
left us with the question, "Are we will- 
ing to suffer for Jesus?" 

Special music for the day was given 
by Marjorie Newell; a trio of Susie 
Stout, Joyce McCarty, and Ethel Naff; 
and other music by Carol Brewster, 
Susan Gregory, Marion Bargerhuff, 
and Deloris Hattery. 

At College Corner ladies were wel- 
comed by Ruth Hullinger and Tami 
White. Helen Garner of North Man- 
chester gave the devotions on the 
theme, "A Woman's Touch." She spoke 
about the four women who worshiped 
Jesus and the touch that should be a 
part of each life: the eagerness of Mary 
to learn as much about Jesus as she 
could; the molding of Christian princi- 
ples, as Ruth did; the sacrifice of Mary; 
and the prayer life of Anna. 

Sandy Medsger and Ursula Abell of 
Roann sang. The speaker was Linda 
Gaust. She said that our homes and 
churches become a body of believers 
when they are touched with love. 
Women have a way of adding an extra 

The northern rally was in Warsaw. 
The theme for the day was "Jesus, the 
Master Recycler." Norma Trump from 
North Manchester was the devotional 
leader. She portrayed Peter's mother- 
in-law, using several scriptures and 
solos. Following lunch, Ann Van Duyne 
was the special speaker, developing 
the theme. 

Total attendance was 221 and proj- 
ect offerings received for ATS totaled 
$1,585.20. Reports of the rallies were 
submitted by Susie Stout, Cheryl Sigle, 
Evelyn Lantz, and Lois Garber. 

Ik "Editor's Biding 

Dear Friend, 

Prayers of many Americans were 
answered in November, when elected 
officials who profess and practice 
strong moral values replaced those 
with less or no values. This is not a 
political party problem; this is a moral 
problem into which the United States 
has slowly eroded. Although the citi- 
zens voted for a change, and we re- 
ceived it, the problem isn't over. 

Continue to pray! Support the gov- 
ernment officials — local, state, na- 
tional — with prayer. They are in their 
positions as our representatives. En- 
courage them in their efforts to restore 
the basic Christian values throughout 
each locale. Continue or begin in your 
home to maintain and practice the 
Christian principles. 

When I was growing up in Waterloo, 
Mrs. LaBarre, our Primary Sunday 
School Department Superintendent, 
gave each child name verses. Inside 
the cover of our Bibles, she wrote 
verses beginning with the initial of our 
names. My R verse was Proverbs 
14:34, "Righteousness exalteth a na- 
tion, but sin is a reproach to any peo- 
ple" (KJV). That verse has much more 
meaning now than when I was young; 
righteousness and reproach were hard 
words to pronounce when I couldn't 
make the "r" sound, let alone compre- 
hend. But I memorized the verse and I 
have learned it is true! 

This is our opportunity as Chris- 
tians to be shining lights and to be 
genuine children of God. Be firm, un- 
compromising, and stand on the prin- 
ciples of God. 

The W.M.S. year is one-half com- 
pleted. It is a good time to evaluate 
your society's progress. Plans for 
spring activities should be in progress; 
continue correspondence with the 
world missionaries, home mission pas- 
tors, chaplains, and special ministry 
personnel. All of these can experience 
mid-winter doldrums, just as we may. 
A note of encouragement will benefit 
the receiver as well as the sender. 

Remember, we are Women Meant to 
Serve, so keep up your good work. 

Your friend, 

Woman's Outlook Newsletter 

Ashland Theological Seminary 

Serving God and The Brethren Church 

Ashland Theological Seminary 

Dr. Fred Finks, President, 
Ashland Theological Seminary. 

WHO could have imagined the 
changes that would shape 
Ashland Theological Seminary into 
a world-class evangelical seminary 
impacting ministry around the 
world? I often wonder what our 
forefathers had in mind when 
they decided that an educated 
clergy was important enough to 
challenge the status quo of the 
1880s. Could they have envi- 
sioned the global technology that 
would allow instant communica- 
tion from anywhere in the world? 

A changing world 

Debate over the use of the cam- 
era occupied discussion for dec- 
ades during General Conference; 
today images are transferred via 
satellite in the blink of an eye. It 
is too much to assume that Henry 
Holsinger could have had such 
vision as to include the advances 
of today. But it is not too much to 
assume that Holsinger and the 
early Brethren envisioned a 

By Dr. Frederick J. Finks 

changing world and the need for 
an educated ministry to make the 
gospel relevant in such a chang- 
ing world. 

When Ashland was selected as 
the headquarters for the denomi- 
nation, it was very much a rural 
setting. Not a great deal has 
changed in the past one-hundred 
years. Ashland is still rural in na- 
ture and much less complicated 
than larger cities. Yet Ashland 
Theological Seminary is not con- 
fined to this rural setting. Ash- 
land Theological Seminary can be 
found among the towering sky- 
scrapers of Cleveland, Columbus, 
and Detroit. These are major 
metropolitan cities, and Ashland 
Theological Seminary is there 
working within the churches, pro- 
viding ministry to the complex 
needs of modern society. 

Ashland Theological Seminary 
has also moved into the larger 
evangelical scene and is now the 
thirteenth largest among the 
sixty-one evangelical seminaries. 
Likewise an impact has been 
made through the writing, pub- 
lishing, and speaking of faculty 
members. More than 31 books 
have been written by ATS faculty 

Ashland Theological Seminary 
is a ministry of The Brethren 
Church that is serving the needs 
of The Brethren Church as well 
as the greater body of Christ. 
This multi-dimensionality enables 
the word of God to be proclaimed 
throughout the world. More than 
two thousand alumni of the sem- 
inary are spreading the gospel; 
they do so in remote villages as 
well as capital cities around the 
globe. The gospel's influence is 
felt as lives are changed and as 

people come to a saving knowl- 
edge of Jesus Christ. 

Students are the heartbeat of 
the seminary. There are more 
than 600 students studying this 
year at Ashland Theological Sem- 
inary. Brethren students number 
29 this year and are an active 
force at the seminary. They have 
formed Brethren Student Fellow- 
ship, which meets regularly to 
discuss the future of the church 
and their part in helping the 
church to grow. Current Brethren 
students are planning on enter- 
ing the pastoral, mission, church 
planting, and pastoral counseling 
fields. There is a genuine excite- 
ment about the future within the 
student body. 

An investment in ministry 

The seminary depends upon the 
support of the church and of con- 
cerned individuals who wish to 
invest in this ministry. The Gen- 
eral Conference-approved Fair 
Share Giving is the responsibility 
of every church. Likewise, the 
seminary needs 
the help of in- 
dividuals who 
provide schol- 
arships, endow- 
ment gifts, 
annual operat- 
ing gifts, and 
long-range sup- 
port through 
The future de- 
pends upon the 
support given 
today and to- 
morrow. Give 
as if the church 
depended upon 
it. It does! [*] 

January 1995 


Ashland Theological Seminary 

Learning By Doing 

PERHAPS BY NOW you have 
heard the good news that the 
foundation for a new Brethren 
church has been successfully laid 
in Medina, Ohio. Our Lord, the 
Master Builder, has been at work 
through various people over the 
past year and a half, developing 
the blueprint for this new work. 
Now the labor to bring these 
plans to reality has begun. It is 
through the labor of seminary 
students here at Ashland Theo- 
logical Seminary that the first 
stones of the foundation have 
been solidly set in place. 

In Mark 6:7, the writer tells us 
that Jesus sent His disciples out 
two by two. In Medina, not only 
has my wife Debbie gone with me 
to start the new church, but twelve 
other seminary students and their 
spouses are actively involved in 
ministry with The Brethren Church 
of Medina. They make up the core 
of the worship and drama minis- 
try and also serve as staff for the 
nursery and children's church. 
They are also involved in Bible 
study, outreach, and fellowship 
activities. This month, several of 
them will be involved in the 

By Thomas Sprowls, Jr. 

Christian education ministry as 
it gets off the ground. 

The work of the students began 
back in October, when many of 
them were involved in making 
phone calls during "The Phones 
For You" campaign. After spend- 
ing long hours helping with this 
outreach, students were delighted 
to meet people whom whey had 
called. The real joy came in know- 
ing that the church now has an 
opportunity to reach these people 
for the sake of Jesus Christ. 

Interest and support from the 
student body and faculty at Ash- 
land Theological Seminary has 
been tremendous. Students from 
all denominations have been in- 
terested in the new church. Never 
has a day gone by when I have 
not been stopped in the hallway 
of the seminary and asked how 
the new church is doing. The con- 
versation inevitably ends with 
people telling me that they have 
been praying for the new church 
and are glad God is watching 
over us. Several students and fac- 
ulty members even went out of 
their way to come to the opening 
service to give their support. 

of The 
Church of 
is a 
senior at 

Ashland Theological Seminary 
has been invaluable to The Breth- 
ren Church of Medina. It has been 
the developing ground for me and 
all the other students involved in 
starting this new work. Not only 
this, but the initial vision for a 
practical way to learn church 
planting by starting a new church 
began within the walls of ATS. 

The story doesn't end here. Our 
Lord, the Master Builder, has al- 
ready sown the seed for another 
church to be planted through the 
work of students at Ashland 
Theological Seminary. The rumor 
in the hallway is that blueprints 
could be ready by 1997. [t] 

Ashland Theological Seminary 

Life on the Streets 

"FjO YOU KNOW that Jesus 
-L>' loves you?" Karen asks the 
young street boy. "I don't know 
about Jesus, but my mommy tells 
me Satan loves me," responds the 
boy. This conversation did not 
take place in Cleveland, Chicago, 
or Indianapolis; it took place on a 
street in downtown Ashland. And 
this is not an isolated case. 

Kurt Stout, from the Burlington, Ind,, 
First Brethren Church, is a senior at 
Ashland Theological Seminary. 

By Kurt Stout 

In large cities and small towns 
alike, there are scores of people 
who are both spiritually and physi- 
cally hungry for a ray of hope. 
You have seen these people: the 
woman who stands at the inter- 
section holding a sign that reads, 
"Will Work for Food"; the group of 
teens who gather on the streets 
late at night, darting in and out 
of the shadows; or the family in 
the dilapidated house on the cor- 
ner, which is waiting for next 
month's food stamps. Whether we 

acknowledge them or not, these 
people are all around us. 

A group of students from the 
World Christian Fellowship (W.C.F.) 
organization at Ashland Theologi- 
cal Seminary is trying to bridge 
the gap and break down social bar- 
riers that keep us comfortable in 
our own safe Christian community, 
isolated from these people. The 
'Life on the Streets" program is 
designed to provide students first- 
hand experiences and ministry 
opportunities in inner-city settings 


The Brethren Evangelist 

that will challenge and stretch 
their hearts. 

Assisting another ministry group, 
several ATS students have par- 
ticipated in street evangelism and 
social services in downtown Ash- 
land. Each week students provide 
a cup of hot chocolate and some 
homemade cookies 
to passers-by or teens 
gathered in a near- 
by parking lot. In 
addition, tracts are 
handed out, a Bible 
study has been 
formed, and a prayer 
team meets while 
others are minister- 
ing on the street. The 
hope is that through 
weekly contacts such 
as these, the gospel 
of Jesus Christ may 
be presented and souls will be 
won for His Kingdom. 

On October 21 and 22 of this 
year, "Life on the Streets" took 
this ministry one step further. 
We met for prayer in a small up- 
stairs apartment, then spread out 
across downtown in groups of 
twos and threes. Ten students 
passed out fliers door to door, in- 
creasing ministry awareness and 
inviting people to the Bible study. 

After a full evening of door-to- 

make our cardboard tents for the 
night. Our beds were not soft mat- 
tresses and pillows, but the cold, 
damp ground. The bitter air pierced 
through our thin clothing, and 
our bodies ached with every turn. 
As a result, the reality of our 
ministry became much clearer. 

door street ministry, we went to 

Kurt Stout spends a night finding out what it's like to 

We counted the hours until we 
could return to our comfortable 
homes, but we realized that other 
homeless individuals were count- 
ing the days, months, and years. 

Time passed by ever so slowly, 
and few could sleep. Most of our 
group did not make it through 
the night. And the lingering back- 
aches and colds were reminders 
of that long winter evening. 

When the sun finally rose, we 
gathered our belongings and 
headed for a Methodist church lo- 

cated near the downtown area. 
Our ATS group was the Saturday 
morning breakfast crew. We 
helped prepare and serve break- 
fast to more than 40 needy people 
in the Ashland community. But 
pancakes, eggs, and ham were not 
the only items shared that day. 
We shared a piece 
of our heart, and we 
received a spiritual 
blessing in return. 
Our eyes were 
opened and our 
spirits encouraged. 

In December, 
W.C.F. "Life on the 
Streets" helped box 
Christmas pack- 
ages for needy fam- 
ilies, and in the 
spring we plan to go 
to Cleveland to aid 
Cleveland City Mission in minis- 
tering to the poor and homeless 
in that area. 

The ultimate purpose of 'Life 
on the Streets" is not just to 
occasionally reach out to those in 
need, but to develop a mindset 
and burden for missions both 
here and abroad. Consider today 
what you can do to reach out to 
those in your area. Be prepared 
to be challenged, and be prepared 
to be blessed. The Kingdom of 
God is worth it all. [ft] 

be homeless. 

Ashland Theological Seminary 

Answering God's Call 

"TJONEY, what do you think 
J- J-about us going into pastoral 
ministry?" With those words, I 
nearly brought twenty-three 
years of a happy marriage to an 
end. It is one thing for a person to 
make a change in life, but to 
spring the news on someone else, 
especially a spouse, is a shock to 
that person. 

DeAnn figured that the idea 
would soon pass. But it didn't. 
Two years later we were living in 
Ashland, Ohio, and I was enrolled 
in Ashland Theological Seminary. 
Oh yes, she had accepted the idea 
by this time and was totally be- 

By Gene Oburn 

hind me in my decision. (Our 
marriage was never in jeopardy.) 

St. Paul wrote to the Philippians 
that he had learned to be content 
in whatever state he found him- 
self. Perhaps the converse of that 
could be said of my situation. For 
years I had felt the prodding (not 
leading) of the Holy Spirit to do 
what, at the age of 49, I finally 
did — say "Yes" to God. Until that 
time, I just hadn't felt comfortable. 

Since that time, I have had no 
desire to turn back. Also, I have 
never had so much contentment 
as I have had since I sought to do 
God's will for my life. I would not 

have thought that I would be go- 
ing back to school for four years, 
but God has made that a joyful 



January 1995 


experience, as well as one that 
has gone by very rapidly. 

He also worked in other ways 
to assure me that this call was 
genuine. We were able to pur- 
chase a home that is ideal for our 
time in Ashland, mainly because 
it has virtually no yard to mow. I 
was offered a job at Park Street 
Brethren Church even before we 
moved to Ashland. All I had to do 
was buy some books and begin at- 
tending classes at the seminary. 

So in July 1991, we said good- 
by to friends, pulled out of our 
driveway at Pleasant Hill, Ohio, 
and headed for Ashland to begin 
a whole new life. DeAnn and I 
had spent all of our married life 

and reared our four children in 
Pleasant Hill, so we left with 
many memories. 

In December of that same year, 
I was called to serve as student 
pastor at the Williamstown, Ohio, 
Brethren Church, where I con- 
tinue to serve. DeAnn is very ac- 
tive with me, and I like to refer 
to my call as a joint effort of the 
two of us. In May of 1995, after 
graduation, we will move to Wil- 
liamstown to begin serving as 
their regular pastoral couple. 

If you feel God is calling you into 
His full-time service, don't ever 
give the excuse that it is too late. 
At one time I thought I did not 
have enough time left to serve the 

Lord in a capacity such as this. 
Now I regret that I waited so long 
to say "Yes." The joy of serving 
Jesus provides a feeling of incom- 
parable contentment. 

A Sunday school teacher once 
asked a class of students to write 
on a piece of paper the name of 
the Bible character to which they 
could best relate. I wrote the name 
of Jonah, because I felt I had 
shown disregard for God's plan 
for my life. I'm certainly glad 
there were no big fish around! 

God is looking for people who 
are willing to be available for His 
service. Do you feel as though 
God has something more for you? 
Think about it! [*] 

Ashland Theological Seminary 

Seminary and Church: 
Joining Education with Ministry 

THERE is an age-old problem 
that exists between many 
seminaries and the church bodies 
they serve. The churches feel that 
the seminaries spend too much 
time on the "academic" and not 
enough time on the practical. The 
seminaries, on the other hand, 
feel that the churches don't ap- 
preciate what they do. The basic 
problem is a lack of communica- 
tion; neither wants to accept the 

Ashland Theological Seminary 
wants to change this situation. It 
views itself as a seminary that 
serves the church. It sees its re- 
sponsibility as adequately equip- 
ping Christian leaders for the 
church. It holds to high standards 
for both academics and practical 
training. It believes that the church 
is essential to the work of God. 
There is no other agency to which 
God has given the task of preach- 
ing the gospel. The seminary is a 
servant of the church and as such 
seeks to serve the church. 

Serving the church: The Mis- 
sion Statement lists three pri- 
mary purposes for which the 
seminary exists: 

Ashland Theological Seminary 
exists to equip committed Chris- 
tians for leadership ministries 

of the pastorate, missions, edu- 
cation, counseling and commu- 
nity life. 

Ashland Theological Seminary 
seeks to serve men and women 
who are preparing to minister 
in a variety of global contexts. 

Ashland Theological Seminary 
intends its graduates to be serv- 
ant-leaders in the ministries to 
which they are called in the 
church and in the world. 

Ashland Seminary has worked 
with the leadership of The Breth- 
ren Church as well as with denom- 
inational leaders of other churches 
in order to ascertain ways in 
which the seminary can improve 
its service orientation to the 
church and better prepare minis- 
ters for serving the church. New 
courses have been designed and 
added to the curriculum. Also, 
students are challenged in "Field 
Work" to get a good experience of 
life within the church. Coopera- 
tion between the church and the 
seminary will continue to lead to 
a better-prepared ministry. 

Becoming spiritually formed: 
Being called by God to full-time 
Christian service requires years 
of training as well as a disci- 
plined Christian life. Fruits of the 
Spirit don't immediately spring 

from young vines. Sometimes it 
takes years for the plant (person) 
to mature to the point of fruit- 

At Ashland Seminary, we take 
seriously the lives that have been 
entrusted to us for training and 
equipping. Spiritual Formation is 
at the heart of our education. 
Students are encouraged to be- 
come involved in the faith com- 
munity that exists on campus. 
This includes weekly chapels as 
well as spiritual formation groups 
(groups of 10-12 students and a 
faculty member) which empha- 
size discipline to personal devo- 
tion and prayer. 

Students are also encouraged to 
take classes on Spiritual Forma- 
tion to learn from the spiritual 
leaders of the past and the pres- 
ent, including Augustine, Thomas 
Kelly, Francis of Assisi, Evelyn 
Underhill, Mother Theresa, and 
Brother Andrew. Students learn 
the value of a "heart for God," and 
they also learn to walk in a life of 

Committed to quality in edu- 
cation: A student committed to 
the word of God must know how 
to accurately handle that word in 
preaching, teaching, and applica- 
(continued on next page) 


The Brethren Evangelist 



Four Deacon Couples Ordained December 4th 
At Park Street Brethren Church in Ashland 

Ashland, Ohio — Four deacon couples 
— Larry and Gloria Carman, Bruce and 
Sue Ellen Ronk, David and Cathy 
Spreng, and Paul and Debra Ritchey — 
were ordained Sunday evening, Decem- 
ber 4, at the Ashland Park Street 
Brethren Church. 

Dr. Donald Rinehart, professor of re- 
ligion and chairman of the religion de- 
partment at Ashland University pre- 
sented the message for the service. Dr. 
Rinehart represented the Ohio District 
Board of Oversight. Scripture was read 
by Ronald Bowers, chair of the Deacon 
Ministry. Special music for the service 
was presented by the church choir. 

Park Street's senior pastor Dr. Arden 
Gilmer led the ordination proceedings, 
assisted by associate pastor Rev. Randy 
Saultz and Dr. Rinehart. Prayer for the 
Carmans was offered by Pastor Gilmer; 
for the Ronks by Dorman Ronk (Bruce's 
father); for the Sprengs by O.B. Harding 
(Cathy's father); and for the Ritcheys by 
Ronald W. Waters (Deb's "boss"). 

Larry Carman is a machine operator 
at The Timken Company in Ashland, 
and Gloria is office manger for Corner- 
stone Psychological Affiliates. They are 
the parents of three married daughters, 
Jodi White and Kimberly Young (both 
of whom are members at Park Street) 
and Cheryl Deese (who lives in Dallas, 
Ga., where she is a member of a Baptist 

Seminary and Church 

(continued from previous page) 
tion to daily living. No one wants to be 
operated on by a brain surgeon who 
received his or her degree by taking 
shortcuts. Likewise, a highly-trained 
ministry was always the aim of the Pro- 
gressive Brethren, even when insisting 
on such training threatened to bring 
about division in the church. 

Ashland Seminary is committed to 
excellence in education. Highly-trained 
professors teach students how to preach 
from the word of God, using training in 
Greek and Hebrew. A firm foundation 
in the study of the Old and New Testa- 
ments, theology, and church history 
helps equip future leaders. Yet, as an 
ATS faculty member remarked to a 
group of new students: "It doesn't mat- 
ter whether you get an A or a B in this 
course. What matters most is that you 
learn that God loves you and you love 
God. That is the most important thing 
you will learn here at Ashland." [ft] 

January 1995 

church). Both Gloria and Larry are ac- 
tive in the Christian Heirs Sunday school 
class. Gloria is also recording secretary 
for the church's board of administra- 
tion, and Larry has served as an usher. 
Bruce Ronk is a partner in Infopro, a 
computer sales and service store in Ash- 
land, and Sue Ellen is head reference 

ministrative Assistant for Education/ 
Leadership/Youth at the Brethren 
Church National Office. They are active 
in the Discovery Sunday school class, 
and Paul serves as video technician for 
television broadcasts of the Sunday 
worship services at Park Street. Deb 
has worked with the youth of the Breth- 
ren denomination for a number of years, 
first with the Board of Christian Educa- 
tion and now with the National Office. 
An interesting sidelight on these new 
deacons and deaconesses is that four of 

New deacon couples at Park Street — (I 
and David Spreng, Debra and Paul Ritchey, 
Arden Gilmer (r.) 

librarian at the Ashland University li- 
brary. They have three sons, Brian in 
the ninth grade and twins Benjamin 
and David in the eighth grade. Both Sue 
and Bruce sing in the choir and in the 
musical ensemble Reveille. Bruce is as- 
sistant treasurer for the church, and 
Sue Ellen has taught Sunday school. 

David Spreng is a computer consult- 
ant for Armco Steel in Mansfield, Ohio, 
and Cathy is a laboratory technologist 
at Mansfield General Hospital. They 
have a daughter, April, in the second 
grade. Both are active in the Salt Sun- 
day school class, and Cathy is a member 

Paul Ritchey is store manager of Ra- 
dio Shack in Ashland, and Debra is Ad- 

to r.) Bruce and Sue Ellen Ronk, Cathy 
Gloria and Larry Carman — with Pastor 

the eight who were ordained are the 
sons or daughters of deacon couples. 
Bruce is the son of Park Street deacon 
couple Dorman and Joan Ronk. Sue Ellen 
Ronk is the daughter of Tom and Donna 
Stoffer, formerly deacon and deaconess 
in the Canton Trinity Brethren Church 
and now in the Ashland Garber Breth- 
ren Church. Cathy Spreng is the daugh- 
ter of Park Street deacon couple O.B. 
and Lucille Harding. And Debra 
Ritchey is the daughter of Lanark, 111., 
First Brethren Church deacon couple 
Robert and Sue Michael. In addition, 
Paul Ritchey is the son of a Brethren 
pastoral couple, Rev. Ronald and Adele 
Ritchey, who serve the Cumberland, 
Md., First Brethren Church. 

Don Argue Named President of 
National Assn. of Evangelicals 

Wheaton, 111. — Don Argue has been 
named the new president (an office for- 
merly termed executive director) of the 
National Association of Evangelicals. 

On April 1, Argue will assume the 
position held for the past 28 years by 
retiring executive director Billy A. 
Melvin. Melvin officially steps down on 
March 31, 1995, and plans to continue 
other ministry options. 

Argue, 55, has served as president of 

North Central Bible College, Minneapo- 
lis, Minn., since 1979. Under his leader- 
ship, the college grew from an enroll- 
ment of 401 to more than 1,500. In prior 
years he served as dean of students and 
campus pastor at Evangel College in 
Springfield, Mo., and before that he was 
pastor of First Assembly of God, Morgan 
Hill, Calif. In 1992-93, he was president 
(an office which will now be called chair- 
man of the board) of NAE. 

The Brethren Church is a denomina- 
tional member of NAE, and some Breth- 
ren congregations and individuals are 
also members of the association. 



General Conf. Executive Council Approves Budget, 
Cares for Other Business at December 2nd Meeting 

Ashland, Ohio — The General Confer- 
ence Executive Council (GCEC) held its 
regular meeting on Friday, December 2, 
1994. Following are highlights of the 

• Approved a $10,000 gift from the 
1994 operating fund to the World Relief 
Corporation's 50th Anniversary Disas- 
ter Response Fund. The fund, targeted 
for $1.3 million, will serve as a reserve 
which WRC can use to respond immedi- 
ately to emergency disasters. The fund 
will then be replenished from contribu- 
tions received after the response to each 
disaster has been publicized. 

• Approved a 1995 working budget. 
As announced at General Conference, 
the working budget was not adjusted 
downward to reflect the anticipated 
shortfall in Fair Share Support from 
churches. GCEC reiterated its desire to 
move forward in planned ministries and 
to supplement the shortfall from re- 
serves. The working budget projects a 
$69,100 deficit for 1995. 

• Recognized that, due to financial 
problems in recent years, GCEC had 
allowed executive salaries to fall signifi- 
cantly behind those recommended for 
pastors. GCEC granted salary adjust- 
ments for executives for 1995 as a first 

step in rectifying this situation. In addi- 
tion, the Moderator -Track was assigned 
responsibility for presenting a plan to 
the March GCEC meeting to bring sal- 
ary levels up to scale. 

• Was informed that the first pay- 
ment from the sale of the Brethren's 
Home of Indiana had been received. 
Payments will extend over a 15-year 
period. GCEC adopted a proposal to 
place these receipts in the endowment 
fund rather than apply them to the gen- 
eral operating fund; to give a tithe of all 
receipts to the Missionary Board; and to 
appoint a committee to recommend how 
the funds should be used. It is expected 
that annual receipts from the sale will 
total about $140,000. 

• Received and discussed reports 
from the Moderator-Track, directors of 
Pastoral Ministries and Brethren Church 
Ministries, treasurer, the Missionary 
Board, Ashland Theological Seminary, 
Special Committee on Cooperative Min- 
istry, 1997 General Conference Loca- 
tion Committee, and Evangelist Advi- 
sory Committee. 

• Gave its support to a recommenda- 
tion from the Special Committee on Co- 
operative Ministry that the committee 
be disbanded and that the denomina- 

Mulvane, Kans. — Sunday, November 6, was "Service Station Sunday" at the 
Mulvane Brethren Church. The purpose of this special Sunday was to make sure 
that the cars of the Mulvane Brethren were ready for winter. After a fellowship 
dinner, which followed the morning worship service, some of the men in the 
church checked fluid levels and belts of the cars of the Brethren and also put air 
into the tires as necessary. Service Station Sunday was the idea of Johnathan 
Hunter, seen here (r.) with Merle McKee checking over one of the cars. 

tional executives be given responsibility 
for maintaining contacts with other de- 
nominations. Reasons for this recom- 
mendation include: contact with like- 
minded denominations by a committee 
is difficult in that such committees tend 
to move beyond where the rest of the 
denomination is; unless denomina- 
tional executives are represented on the 
committee, talk about cooperation be- 
tween denominations has little sub- 
stance; and denominational executives 
already have contacts with their coun- 
terparts in other denominations and are 
most able to identify areas of coopera- 
tion. The committee will bring a recom- 
mendation for its dissolution to the 1995 
General Conference. 

• Appointed David Cooksey to again 
represent The Brethren Church on the 
National Association of Evangelicals 
board of administration; appointed 
NAE commissions representatives. 

— reported by Ronald W. Waters, 
Director of Brethren Church Ministries 

NAE Convention to be Held 
March 5-7 in Louisville, Ky. 

Wheaton, 111. — "One Faith, One Wit- 
ness, One Hope," based on 1 Corinthians 
12:13a — "For we were all baptized by 
One Spirit into one body" — will be the 
theme of the 53rd Annual Convention 
of the National Association of Evangel- 
icals (NAE), to be held March 5-7 in 
Louisville, Ky. 

The principal speakers for the confer- 
ence will be: Duane Litfin, president of 
Wheaton (111.) College; Morris Chap- 
man, current president of the Executive 
Committee of the Southern Baptist 
Convention and former pastor (for 13 
years) of the 7,700 member First Bap- 
tist Church of Wichita Falls, Tex.; Paul 
Conn, president of Lee College, Cleve- 
land, Tenn., and author or co-author of 
20 books; Jack Hayford, pastor of The 
Church On The Way, Van Nuys, Calif., 
and author of 20 books; and Ronald 
Potter, assistant professor of Christian 
Thought and Contemporary Culture at 
the Center for Urban Theological Stud- 
ies, Philadelphia, Pa. 

In addition to the above speakers, 14 
well-known evangelicals will speak at 
the various luncheons scheduled during 
the convention. The convention will con- 
clude with the annual banquet, which 
this year will feature a tribute to Dr. 
Billy A. Melvin, who is retiring after 28 
years as executive director of NAE. 

For additional information or a regis- 
tration form, contact NAE, P.O. Box 28, 
Wheaton, IL 60189 (phone 708-665- 
0500; fax 708-665-8575). 


The Brethren Evangelist 

Little Crusader 

Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder 
them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:14). 

Dear Boys and Girls, 

Our bodies are very important to us. If we don't take care of them, we can become 
sick. It is not fun being sick. 

Jesus healed many sick people. Once there was a man who was paralyzed. This 
means that he could not walk or move his legs. The paralyzed man had four very good 
friends. The friends heard that Jesus was in town, in a house nearby. They knew that 
Jesus could heal their friend. So they picked up the man, bed mat and all, and carried 
him to the house where Jesus was. 

But when they got to the house, so many people were there that they couldn't even 
get near the doorway. So they had an idea. The friends carried the sick man up the 
stairway on the outside of the house to the flat roof. There they made a hole in the roof 
and slowly lowered their sick friend down through the opening. 

What do you think Jesus and the people thought when they saw a man coming 
down from the ceiling? Jesus was happy that the sick man's friends had so much faith. 
He told the paralyzed man to "get up, take your mat and go home." The man stood up 
right way! Everyone was excited! They praised Jesus for His wonderful healing power! 

Number the following sentences in the 
correct order. 

His friends lowered the paralyzed man 

through the roof. 

Jesus was talking to a room full of 

Jesus made the paralyzed man well. 

The house was too full of people for 
the friends to enter. 




Answer these questions by circling the 
correct answer. 

1 . Did Jesus give the man 2. Did Jesus tell the man 3. Did Jesus use God's 
medicine to make him he would be better power to make the man 

well? soon? well? 

yes no yes no yes no 

January 1995 




Geneva Altfather and Ida Kimmel, 

both members of the Berlin, Pa., Breth- 
ren Church, were honored by the Penn- 
sylvania State Sunday School Associa- 
tion for their more than 50 years of 
service to the Berlin Brethren Sunday 
School. Geneva Altfather was recog- 
nized for 62 years of service, during 
which she served as a teacher, depart- 
ment superintendent, librarian, and 
chair of the home department. Ida Kim- 
mel was recognized for 56 years of serv- 
ice, during which she served as a 
teacher and department superinten- 
dent. Each lady received a plaque in 
commemoration of this honor. 

Scott Landis, Sunday school super- 
intendent for the Berlin, Pa., Brethren 
Church, was recently chosen to serve on 
the Board of Directors of the Pennsylva- 
nia State Sunday School Association. 
This association was begun in 1862 to 
serve the teachers and leaders of Penn- 
sylvania's Sunday schools. According to 
Landis, Brethren Sunday schools in 
Pennsylvania can receive a free news- 
letter from the association by contacting 
the Pennsylvania State Sunday School 
Association, 5915 Fox Street, Harris- 
burg, PA 17112. 

Heritage Tour 

October 9-20, 1995 

Visit scenic sites of Anabap- 
tist, Pietist, and Brethren signifi- 
cance in Switzerland, France, 
Germany, and the Netherlands. 

Sponsored by: 
Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc. 

$1,950 from New York (JFK) 

For brochure, contact: 

Don Durnbaugh 

POB 484 

James Creek, PA 16657 


Evangelist Billy Graham 
To Hold Global Mission 

Minneapolis, Minn. — Evangelist 
Billy Graham will hold a Global Mis- 
sion March 16-18 that many are say- 
ing will be 
the largest 
outreach in 
the history 
of the 

church and 
also one of 
the most 
efforts ever 

Originating from the Billy Graham 
crusade in San Juan, Puerto Rico, this 
mission will be sent direct by satellite 
to thousands of locations in more than 
165 countries. Each of these sites will 
be set up as if Billy Graham were 
personally coming to that community 
for a crusade. 

From capital city cathedrals to out- 
door jungle amphitheaters, national 
Christians will receive a satellite 
broadcast tailored to their own speci- 
fications. Before March they will 
choose one of the more than 40 lan- 
guages available to them and will 

select one of eight pre-produced, cul- 
turally specific editions. 

To coordinate this massive pro- 
gram, the Billy Graham Evangelistic 
Association (BGEA) staff has trained 
more than 5,000 regional and na- 
tional mission directors during the 
past year, who will in turn be training 
between one and one-and-a-half mil- 
lion Christians. From this group will 
come 450,000 Global Mission counsel- 
ors who will do the follow-up work 
that is a characteristic of any Billy 
Graham crusade. 

"We have never had anything quite 
like this, when we are able to reach so 
many millions of people every night," 
said Billy Graham. 'The technology 
revolution has shrunk the world to a 
global village, with instant access to 
world news networks in even the most 
remote areas," Graham continued. "It 
is time for the church to utilize this 
technology to make a worldwide state- 
ment that in the midst of chaos, emp- 
tiness, and despair, there is hope in 
the person of Jesus Christ." 

According to John R. Corts, presi- 
dent of BGEA, "Global Mission is a 
practical expression of the BGEA goal 
— established more than 40 years ago 
— to preach the Good News of the Gos- 
pel of Jesus Christ throughout the 
world. We believe in using every mod- 
ern means of communication avail- 
able to us to accomplish this task." 

In Memory 

Clifford H. Robinson, 75, December 24. Mem- 
ber for 25 years of the Elkhart First Brethren 
Church, where he had served as usher, financial 
secretary, vice moderator, and choir member, 
and was a member of the laymen's organization. 
Services by Pastor Timothy P. Gamer. 
Mrs. P. G. (Mae) Wenger, 94, December 16. 
Member for 84 years of the Bethlehem Brethren 
Church, where she played the organ for 82 years, 
taught Sunday school for many years, and served 
in various positions in the local and district 
W.M.S. organization. She was also a member of 
the WCTU for more than 60 years. Services by 
Pastor Pat Velanzon, assisted by Rev. James 
Logan, nephew of the deceased. 
James Jacob Pyles, 79, December 9. Attended 
the Oak Hill First Brethren Church for approxi- 
mately four years. Services by Pastor William 

Ruth K. Riley, 91, December 7. Member and 
deaconess for many years of The Brethren 
Church at New Lebanon, where she served as a 
Sunday school teacher for 36 years and was a 
member of the W.M.S. Services by Pastor James 
F. Black. 

Frances Johnson, 69, November 17. Member 
for approximately 20 years of the Cheyenne 
Brethren Church, where she taught Sunday 
school for many years and was a member of 
W.M.S., the adult prayer and Bible study group, 


and the Loving Hands Sewing Group. Services 
by Pastor G. Emery Hurd. 
Clarice M. Fitzwater, 88, September 18. Long- 
time member of the Mathias Brethren Church, 
where she taught young people in Sunday school 
for many years and later became teacher of the 
Adult Bible Class. She and her husband George 
also faithfully used the spiritual gift of hospital- 
ity, hosting many visiting evangelists and Breth- 
ren missionaries. Memorial service conducted by 
Dr. Harold Bamett and Rev. John Mills. 


Cale and Nora Gilbert, 60th, January 31. Mem- 
bers of the Dayton Hillcrest Brethren Church. 


Kristin L. Smith to Michael L. Galbraith, De- 
cember 17, at the Oakville First Brethren Church; 
Pastor Dan Lawson presiding. Bride a member 
of the Muncie First Brethren Church. 
Carla Erbsen to Jon Mickey, December 17, at 
the Lanark First Brethren Church; Pastor Jim 
Garrett presiding. Bride a member of the Lanark 
First Brethren Church. 

Membership Growth 

Corinth: 5 by baptism 
Oak Hill: 4 by baptism, 3 by transfer 
St. Luke: 5 by baptism, 5 by transfer 

The Brethren Evangelist 


World Relief Sends Expression of Appreciation 
To Brethren for Contribution to Rwanda Relief 

In November, The Brethren Church 
National Office received from World 
Relief Corporation of the National 
Association of Evangelicals a framed, 
full-color picture of a Rwandan mother 
and her child (see photo at right). 
The picture was an expression of 
thanks from World Relief Corpora- 
tion (WRC) for the more than 
$1 0, 000 The Brethren Church sent to 
assist with WRC's relief work in 
Rwanda. These were the funds do- 
nated by Brethren congregations 
and individuals in response to the 
emergency appeal for Rwanda relief 
that was made last July and August. 

Received with this picture was the 
following letter: 

Dear [Brethren], 

On behalf of our brothers and sis- 
ters and those they faithfully serve 
in Rwanda, thank you so much for 
your generous gift to World Reliefs 
emergency response in that country. 
Atlantic Monthly carried a com- 
pelling article earlier this year en- 
titled, 'The Coming Anarchy." Here 
is a quote that easily describes 
Rwanda (as well as other African 
and Third World countries): 'The 
withering away of central govern- 
ments, the rise of tribal and regional 
domains, the unchecked spread of 
disease, and the growing pervasive- 
ness of war." 

Your compassionate response has 
helped make a difference in Rwanda. 
You know of the horror, the blood- 
shed, the continuing atrocities. You 
gave because you felt compelled to 
respond in Christ's name. And, 
through the local church, World Re- 
lief has been doing just that from 
April until the present time. 

The accompanying report provides you 
with an easy-to-read, chronological re- 
cord of our relief response. All of this has 
been done in close partnership with the 
local churches and denominations, which 
you also see named. There has been 
much value for your dollar, because mis- 
sions donated facilities, such as a hospi- 
tal, and seconded medical staff to serve 
as emergency workers, churches were 
pressed into use as warehouses, and 
missionaries used their language skills 
to facilitate communication. 

In a statement released October 20, 
David Loudon, World Reliefs Disaster 
Response Director, states: "Many peo- 
ple think the crisis in Rwanda is either 

The writing beneath the picture says: 
Brethren Church Ashland 

If you pour yourself out for the hungry and 
satisfy the desire for the afflicted, then 
your light will shine out from the darkness 
and the darkness around you shall be as 
bright as day. And you will be like a 
well-watered garden, like an overflowing 
spring. — Isaiah 58:10-12 

Thank You 
[Signed:] Art Gay, President; Bas Vander- 
zalm, Vice President/ International Min- 
istries; David Loudon, Disaster Response 

World Relief 

over or impossible to deal with . . . It's 
neither. There's much relief work yet to 
be done, but we are actively planning 
the next stages of rehabilitation and 
reconstruction." Funds are still ur- 
gently needed! 

"I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty 
and you gave me a drink; I was a 
stranger and you received me . . . sick 
and you took care of me. . . . I tell you, 
whenever you did this . . . you did it 
forme. " Matthew 25:4 

Thank you for giving — in Christ's 


Arthur Evans Gay 

Brethren Church Donates 
$10,000 to World Reliefs 
Disaster Response Fund 

The General Conference Executive 
Council at its December 2nd meeting 
approved a $10,000 gift to World Relief 
Corporation for WRC's 50th Anniver- 
sary Disaster Response Fund. 

This gift, which was taken from the 
1994 operating fund, was in addition to 
the more than $10,000 in funds that 
were received from Brethren churches 
and individuals earlier this year and 
sent to WRC for its relief work in 
Rwanda (see article at left). 

World Reliefs 50th Anniversary Dis- 
aster Response Fund, targeted for $1.3 
million, will be a special reserve fund 
that WRC can use to respond to disas- 
ters as soon as they occur. The fund will 
then be replenished from contributions 
received after the response to each dis- 
aster has been publicized. 

A letter of thanks from WRC Presi- 
dent Arthur Gay sent to Rev. Ronald 
Waters, Director of Brethren Church 
Ministries, said in part: 

In the light of the challenges you have 
ahead of you, thank you for the remark- 
able gift of $10,000 to our 50th Anniver- 
sary Disaster Response Fund. May God 
honor your trust and faith. I know He 
will! He has always blessed you people 
because you have the priorities straight. 
May God's blessing rest upon you all. 
You are a pacesetter for the other de- 
nominations. It will be great to tell them 
what you and others are doing. 

In that same letter Dr. Gay also said 
that he had just returned from Guan- 
tanamo Bay, Cuba, where World Relief 
is running the Cuban and Haitian refu- 
gee camps, which he called "a huge chal- 
lenge but also a great opportunity." He 
noted: "In the last two months, over 
1 ,000 Cubans have been baptized! What 
a good God we serve." 

World Relief Prayer Alert 

A fax from World Relief Corporation 
received December 19 at The Brethren 
Church National Office told of new vio- 
lence in the West African nation of Li- 
beria, where World Relief has been at 
work seeking to bring about reconcili- 
ation. Prayer was requested for: 

• Safety for World Relief staff in Liberia. 

• Peace for Liberia after five years of 
war, in which 90 percent of the casual- 
ties have been women and children. 

• God's blessing on the next steps of 
reconciliation to which the church, 
once divided, has committed itself. 


January 1995 



Seven Blessings for 
the New Year 

May the Lord's presence this year: 

Be above you — to guard you. 

Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the 

Lord is God in heaven above .... Deuteronomy 4:39 

Be underneath you — to support you. 
The eternal God is your refuge, and under- 
neath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27 

Be behind you — as a rear guard. 
. . . the God of Israel will be your rear guard. Isaiah 52:12 

Be at your right hand — to protect you. 
Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8 

Go before you — to lead you. 
/ will go before you and will level the mountains. Isaiah 45:2 

Surround you — to shield you from storms. 
As the mountains surround Jerusalem, 

so the Lord surrounds his people 
both now and forevermore. Psalm 125:2 

Be within you — as Counselor and Comforter. 
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you an- 
other Counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit 
of truth. . . and [he] will be in you. John 14:16-17 

Adapted from a blessing by Mrs. Jonathan Goforth printed in The Sunday School Times 
and quoted in Speaker's Sourcebook II compiled by Eleanor Doan (Zondervan Pub- 
lishing House, 1988). 







_ G 









. o 





Blest be the Tie that Binds 

Our Hearts in Christian Love. 

See pages 3, 4, and 5. 


o o n i 


Thoughts on School Prayer 

By Richard C. Winfield, Editor 

like most matters of importance, 
is not a simple, one-sided issue. I 
was convinced of that as I put to- 
gether this month's EVANGELIST. 

On pages 10-12 of this magazine 
are a working document for a pro- 
posed "Student Prayer Amendment 
to the Constitution of the United 
States" and a "Rationale" explain- 
ing the background, meaning, and 
purpose of that proposed amend- 
ment. I hadn't any more than put 
those pages together then I received 
a magazine from another denomi- 
nation that contained an article on 
"Why a constitutional amendment 
for public school prayer is a BAD 
IDEA." I immediately read it! 

Another point of view 

The author, Ronald B. Flowers, 
chair of the religion department at 
Texas Christian University in Fort 
Worth, contends that an amend- 
ment to provide for voluntary 
prayer in the public schools is a bad 
idea for five reasons: (1) it is un- 
necessary; (2) it is inconsistent 
with conservative political philoso- 
phy; (3) it has the appearance of 
politics as usual; (4) it is a danger- 
ous tinkering with a fundamental 
constitutional principle; and (5) it 
has the potential to be harmful to 
religious institutions. 

While his arguments did not con- 
vince me, he did have some signifi- 
cant things to say. And his article 
shows that thought- 
ful Christian peo- 
ple can have dif- 
ferent points of 
view on the school 
prayer issue. 

My purpose here 
is not to argue for 
or against a school 
prayer amend- 
ment. Rather, I 
want to comment 
on some side is- 
sues related to 
this subject. 

I saw another article recently that 
associated the 1962 Supreme Court 
decision on prayer in schools with 
a decline since that time in stu- 
dent achievement test scores. I did 
not keep the article and I don't re- 
member the details, but the article 
seemed to be attributing the de- 
cline in test scores, as well as other 
problems in our schools, to the fact 
that schools no longer begin the 
day with prayer. 

Maybe there is a cause and effect 
relationship. But it seems to me that 
other factors — the greater amount 
of time children spend watching 
television and playing video games; 
the proliferation of extra-school ac- 
tivities; the fact that more mothers 
work outside the home now than 
in 1962 resulting in less parental 
supervision of children after school 
— may also have played a part in 
bringing about this decline in stu- 
dent test scores. 

In fact, our society today is a lot 
different from what it was in 1962, 
and many of these changes may 
have played a part in the decline 
in student achievement. So even if 
prayer were restored to our class- 
rooms, it is questionable whether 
that alone would bring about an 
increase in test scores. 

School prayer nonsense 

Furthermore, there is a lot of non- 
sense propagated about students 
and prayer. Cartoons are particu- 

larly good at this. Like the one I 
saw recently in which a school 
principal says to a little boy: "Hey, 
you're late for class," to which the 
boy mumbles something under his 
breath. "What did you say?" shouts 
the principal. "I said, 'Get off my 
back!'" replies the boy. To which 
the principal responds, "Oh, sorry, 
I thought you were praying!" 

It is true that a few over-zealous 
school administrators have tried to 
forbid even personal prayer. Like 
the school principal in St. Louis who 
gave a boy detention for bowing his 
head over his lunch. But the fact is 
that the Supreme Court has never 
prohibited truly voluntary prayer. 
What it has declared unconstitu- 
tional are state-mandated and/or 
school-sponsored prayer. 

Teach them to pray 

That being the case, if we want 
our children and grandchildren to 
pray in school, let us teach them to 
pray and how to do so. Let us teach 
them to pray to a Father in heaven 
who loves them; in the name of 
Jesus Christ, who is at the right 
hand of the Father interceding for 
them; and in the power of the Holy 
Spirit, who prays for them when 
they don't know what to say. 

Isn't this much better than hav- 
ing some teacher or fellow student 
lead in some generic prayer to a 
nameless deity? Or worse yet, hav- 
ing them led in a sectarian prayer 
to some other god? 

A student prayer amendment 
may be necessary in order to guar- 
antee the right of students in pub- 
lic schools to pray. But if those stu- 
dents are not taught how to pray 
and to whom to pray, the effort put 
forth to pass such an amendment 
will have been made in vain. [ft] 


Pontius' Puddle 

6tORiClESS£X l £0^f\6.«.C.iMJXES OUR. 

omtue: crruera. u&vio, once: voor life 


The Brethren Evangelist 

Funderburg Library 


North Manchester, IN 46962 

February 1995 
Volume 117, Number 2 

The Brethren Evangelist 

(ISSN 0747-4288) 


Richard C. Winfield 

Children's Page 

Sandi Rowsey 

Editorial and 
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Phone: 419-289-1708 

Published: Monthly (except 
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Member: Evangelical Press 


Thoughts on School Prayer by Richard C. Winfield 2 

Comments on some side issues related to this controversial subject. 

Blest Be the Tie of Fellowship by Dennis E. Sigle 4 

The second of four articles on Acts 2:42, the General Conference 
theme verse for 1995. 

Hospitality: Burden or Blessing? by Clem J. Walters 5 

Learning to make others feel loved and welcome enables us to grow as 
servants of Christ. 

Testing Our Knowledge of Brethren Leaders After 1883 6 

A quizzical look at those who led our church following the 1882 divi- 
sion and the formation of The Brethren Church. 

Our Brethren Spiritual Inheritance by Dale R. Stoffer 8 

An examination of the Pietist and Anabaptist roots of The Brethren 

NAE Tackles the School Prayer Issue 10 

A working document for a proposed constitutional amendment that 
would clarify the right of students in public schools to pray. 

Ministry Pages 

Brethren Church Ministries 


Keeping the Body of Christ Evangelistically Fit 

by Larry R. Baker 

Look What's Happening in Some Passing on the Promise 14 


Inviting and Welcoming New People by Ronald W. Waters 15 


Children's Page 




by Sandi Rowsey 



News and Notes from 


From the Grape Vine 


All Over 

Cover: For most people, Valentine's Day is a celebration of romantic love. 
But as Christians, we can celebrate a greater love, the love of God, which has 
been poured into our hearts. This love is a tie that binds us together (see 
"Blest Be the Tie of Fellowship" on page 4), and a grace that enables us to 
show hospitality to others (see "Hospitality: Burden or Blessing?" on page 5). 

Answers to the Little Crusader page: 

1. Your neighbor is everyone around you, particularly someone in trouble or 
in need. 2. You should love your neighbor because God commands us to do so. 
3. We hope that your answer to this question is Yes! 

There are many possible answers to the questions in the hearts. You show 
that you love yourself by feeding yourself, taking care of yourself, getting 
things you want, etc. You can show that you love your neighbors by being 
kind to them, helping them, telling them about Jesus, praying for them, and 
in many other ways. 


February 1995 

They devoted themselves to the 
apostles' teaching and to the fellow- 
ship, to the breaking of bread and 

to prayer. 

Acts 2:42 

JOHN FAWCETT was prepar- 
ing to move. At age 32, he was 
leaving the small Baptist church 
in Wainsgate, England, for the 
prestigious Carter's Lane church 
in London. 

Fawcett had worked hard. Or- 
phaned at 12, he was forced to 
work fourteen hours a day in a 
sweat shop. He taught himself to 
read by candlelight and studied 
continuously. When he was or- 
dained at age 25, he moved to 
Wainsgate. For seven years he 
served the tiny church of 100 
members before receiving the in- 
vitation in London. 

However, Fawcett never moved 
to London. He couldn't break "the 
tie that binds." The last posses- 
sions were loaded on the moving 
cart as Fawcett began his good- 
byes. Tearfully he bade farewell 
to those he had loved for the past 
seven years. They returned his 
tears . . . and his love. It was too 
much for the young preacher. 
London would have to wait. Un- 
loading the cart, he decided to 
stay in Wainsgate a little longer. 
Fawcett never moved to London; 
he never even left Wainsgate. He 
died there 54 years later. 

Fawcett was destined to become 

Quotations from the Bible, unless other- 
wise noted, are from the New Interna- 
tional Version. 

Rev. Sigle is pastor of the Burlington, 
Indiana, First Brethren Church. 

Blest Be the Tie of 

By Dennis E. Sigle 

The second of four articles on Acts 2:42, 
the General Conference theme verse for 1995. 

one of England's greatest 
preachers. He wrote hymns, 
published books and opened a 
training school for young minis- 
ters. His "Essay on Anger" so im- 
pressed King George III that he 
offered Fawcett "any benefit a 
king could confer." 

His love for the people and their 
love for him not only kept him in 
Wainsgate, but it also prompted 
the writing of a hymn we sing 
even today: 

Blest be the tie that binds 
Our hearts in Christian love; 
The fellowship of kindred minds 
Is like to that above. 

What is the meaning of 'They 
devoted themselves ... to the fel- 
lowship" in Acts 2:42? John Faw- 
cett viewed it as "the tie that binds 
our hearts in Christian love." How 
adequately that description carries 
us into Acts 2:42, where we view 
the more than 3,000 souls forming 
the first church! 

Four building blocks 

That church was constructed on 
four major building blocks: the 
apostles' doctrine, fellowship, 
breaking of bread, and prayers. 
The new church of the Acts of the 
Apostles devoted itself to these 
four power-blocks. 

To be devoted involves the bless- 
ing of that tie that binds. Devoted- 
ness binds us together with one an- 
other in love. It binds us together. 
Matthew Henry, a scholar of yes- 
terday, wrote this about the new 
church's devotedness: 

Quoted from an illustration by Norm 

They kept up the communion of 
saints. They continued in fellow- 
ship (v. 42, kjv), and continued daily 
with one accord in the temple, (v. 
46, KJV). They not only had a mu- 
tual affection to each other, but a 
great deal of mutual conversation 
with each other; they were much 

. . . very intimate with one an- 
other, and took all occasions to 
meet; wherever you saw one disci- 
ple, you would see more like birds 
of a feather. See how these Chris- 
tians love one another. They were 
concerned for one another, sym- 
pathized with one another, and 
heartily espoused one another's in- 
terests. They had fellowship with 
one another in religious worship. 
They met in the Temple: there 
was their rendezvous; for joint fel- 
lowship with God is the best fel- 
lowship we can have with one 
another, 1 John 1:3. 

. . . Though they met with the 
Jews in the courts of the Temple, 
yet the Christians kept together 
by themselves, and were unani- 
mous in their separate devotions. 

Upon reflection, it is little won- 
der that Moderator Reilly Smith 
shared with us so powerfully on 
the last day of the 1994 General 
Conference that "We have lost the 
meaning of devoted." The early 
founders of our denomination loved 
one another so much that they 
called one another brethren, a title 
denoting love and devotion to one 

What do we call one another to- 

^latthew Henry, Matthew Henry's Com- 
mentary on the Whole Bible, Acts to Rev- 
elation, Vol. 6 (New York: Fleming H. Revell 
Co.) p. 28. 

The Brethren Evangelist 

day? We call one another to say 
that our family is having a "Family 
Day" and that we cannot possibly 
wait until after Sunday school or 
the worship service to go. Being 
absent from Sunday school, the 
worship serve, mid-week prayer 
and Bible study, the children's group, 
youth group, W.M.S., choir, or board 
meeting seldom brings a tear to 
our eye or a tinge of guilt to our 
conscience. Rather than experienc- 
ing the inward pain that the hymn 
Blest Be the Tie speaks of, it is as 
though being away from the fellow- 
ship relieves us of a great burden. 

We Brethren also call one another 
unloving names, thereby quenching 
the work of the Holy Spirit. And 
then we wonder why our worship, 
our servanthood, and our offerings 
are not blessed. We talk to our 
children about the call of God, and 
yet we very seldom teach them the 
importance and devotedness of 
calling one another brethren. 

Just as we have been Called to 
Declare by 1 Peter 2:9, I declare 
to you, my brothers and sisters in 
Christ, that we must return to be- 
ing devoted to one another in fel- 
lowship. Most Brethren affirm that 

the day is short and that Christ's 
return will be soon. Why, then, do 
we deny one another fellowship by 
being unforgiving, by complaining, 
by being angry with one another — 
behavior that shocks even the un- 
saved as they observe the Brethren? 
Is Christ coming again or not? Is 
Christ making you a new creature 
in Himself or not? Are we commit- 
ted to building up the body of 
Christ or to tearing down the body 
of Christ? 

Three grand essentials 

Allan K. Chalmers said, "The 
grand essentials of happiness are: 
something to do, something to love, 
and something to hope for." 

Brethren, I believe that one of 
the essentials for happy fellowship 
is something to do. Gather for wor- 
ship, for prayer, for youth meet- 
ings, for W.M.S., for home studies, 
for how-to sessions, for meals, etc. 
Fellowship provides Brethren an 
opportunity to draw away from 
this hectic word and to be with one 
another. Let's do it! 

And as you gather together, 
know that you have something to 
love. Love God. Love one another. 

I mean let us truly, genuinely, sin- 
cerely love one another. Be as lov- 
ing to one another as you appear to 
be. Do it that the world might 
know — without a doubt — that we 
are Jesus' disciples. 

And, Brethren, as you gather, 
know that you have something to 
hope for. We have the hope that 
through our fellowship and our de- 
votion to one another, we can cre- 
ate a bit of heaven here on earth. 
We have the hope that through our 
fellowship and devotion to one an- 
other, others can sense the joy and 
beauty of receiving Christ as their 
Savior, too. We have the hope that 
they, too, will become devoted as 
Brethren to a happy fellowship. 
We proclaim to you what we 
have seen and heard, so that you 
also may have fellowship with us. 
And our fellowship is with the 
Father and with his Son, Jesus 
Christ. 1 John 1:3 

My fellow Brethren, the time has 
come not only to sing these words, 
but also to live them: 

Blest be the tie that binds 
Our hearts in Christian love; 
The fellowship of kindred minds 
Is like to that above. [ft] 

Hospitality: Burden or Blessing? 

By Clem J. Walters 

HOSPITALITY can be learned. A 
good place to start is to observe 
what others do to make you feel wel- 
come. Could you extend the same love 
and courtesy to your own guests? 

If you don't know how to do some- 
thing, ask. How does the mother of a 
large family prepare enough food for all 
of them? How does she keep food hot? 
What can you offer a vegetarian guest? 
How can small children be included in 
dinner conversation without having them 
dominate it? It is helpful for you to talk 
with other Christians about their successes 
and failures in practicing hospitality. 
What worked? What didn't? What can 
be improved? What are you learning? 

The most important way to grow in 
hospitality is through practice. No amount 
of theorizing can substitute for inviting 
a guest over for dinner. Talk with those 

Excerpted from To Serve As Jesus 
Served by Clem J. Walters (Greenlawn 
Press, 107 S. Greenlawn, South Bend, 
IN 46617; $5.95). Used by permission. 

in your family or living situation about 
setting aside time on some regular basis 
for hospitality. Sit down with them and 
make a list of people you would like to 
welcome into your home. 

This will include family members and 
friends, but what about neighbors, mem- 
bers of your church organization, co- 
workers, children's friends, those who 
are disadvantaged in some way? How 
about people from the local nursing home 
or foreign students at the local college? 
Then there are those who can be evan- 
gelized by the love of a Christian fam- 
ily. Talk together about what you need 
to do in order to prepare for a visit in 
each of these different circumstances. 

It is also important to talk with other 
Christians about the way you welcome 
newcomers to your services or meetings. 
Do strangers feel loved and cared for? 
Do they know how to participate and 
what is expected of them? Are they in- 
troduced to others and shown where to 
find the coat rack, the restrooms, a place 
to sit? Most important, is someone inter- 

ested in them and why they are there? 
Everyone in the group should examine 
his or her actions and attitudes toward 
guests. Perhaps it would also be helpful 
to designate greeters, whose chief con- 
cern is making guests feel welcome in 
the group. 

Besides deliberately practicing hospi- 
tality, you will grow as a Christian serv- 
ant if you respond graciously to un- 
planned hospitality. When the telephone 
or doorbell rings, you can either be an- 
noyed at the intrusion or you can wel- 
come Christ in the person on the other 
side of the bell. It is also good to be 
honest with others about your limita- 
tions: "I'm sorry, I can't talk with you 
right now; can I call you back in half an 
hour?" or "Would you mind waiting while 
I get the children started on their home- 
work? Then I can sit down with you." 

Hospitality can be either spontaneous 
or planned, but it is a litmus test for serv- 
anthood. If you avoid the practice of 
hospitality, you have not yet learned to 
be a Christian servant. [ir] 

February 1995 

Testing Our Knowledge 
Of Brethren Leaders after 1883 

By Matthew W. Hamel 

A quizzical look at those who led our church following the 1 882 division and the formation 
of The Brethren Church in 1 883. These leaders, convinced that the gospel must be related 
to the culture of the day, were visionaries whose insights continue to impact us today. 

1. Many of the leaders of the new 
Brethren denomination after its 
formation in 1883 were Progres- 
sives by conviction who were dis- 
fellowshiped from the main body of 
Brethren because of their "radical" 
ideas. J. B. Early (1867- ?) was one 
such Brethren leader. A native of 
Ohio, he disagreed with the manda- 
tory nature of Annual Meeting de- 
cisions. After relocating to Oregon, 
he began a pioneering ministry to 
the deaf. 

True. Go to 4. 
False. Go to 23. 

2. Yes! Jacob C. Cassel is called 
"the father of Brethren foreign 
because of 
his support 
of the mis- 
sions cause. 
He served as 
treasurer of 
the Foreign 
Society from 
its inception 
in 1900 until 
1918. He also 
served on the 
Publication Board and the Board 
of Trustees of Ashland College. 
Continue on to 28. 

3. No, Mary Bauman did not 
found the Sister's Society of Chris- 
tian Endeavor (which later became 
the Woman's Missionary Society), 
although she was undoubtedly ac- 
tive in this organization, since she 
was a contemporary of Mary 
Malinda Sterling (1859-1933), the 

Mr. Hamel, a member of the Johns- 
town, Pa., Second Brethren Church, 
currently lives in Ashland, Ohio, and 
attends the new Brethren Church of 

Elder Jacob C. Cassel 

first president of the S.S.C.E. 
Backtrack to 13 and try again. 

4. Right; good start! During the 
four years he worked at the Ore- 
gon School for the Deaf in Salem, 
Oreg., Elder J. B. Early became pro- 
ficient in sign language and was 
able to preach in sign language as 
well as interpret the sermons of 
others for the students. Go to 12. 

5. The Brethren Church was 
blessed with an unusual number of 
capable leaders. One such leader 
was Stephen Bashor, an excellent 
evangelist who was instrumental 
in founding a number of Progres- 
sive Brethren congregations. Another 
early Brethren church planter was: 

D. C. Moomaw. Go to 24. 
Joseph W. Beer. Go to 9. 

6. Afraid not! This Yoder (Eli Lor- 
enzo) was involved in work of an- 
other kind. He joined the Brethren 
in 1866 and led the growing Sun- 
day School movement, organizing 
state conventions. He was one of 
the leaders of the Dayton conven- 
tion of 1883, at which The Breth- 
ren Church was organized. He also 
served for a time as managing edi- 
tor of The Brethren Evangelist. 
Hop to 23. 

7. Right on! Daniel Miller served 
as a township trustee, and in an 
article in the Progressive Brethren, 
he criticized the Annual Meeting 
ruling that prohibited Brethren 
from serving in the legislature. 
Proceed to 26. 

8. Correct! (Did you have any 
doubts?) When J. Allen Miller be- 
came head of the Bible depart- 
ment, it became known for the 
first time as a "seminary." Miller 
served as an instructor and dean 
at the seminary for 27 years, until 

his death in 1933. His wife, Clara 
Worst Miller (1876-1970), taught 
Latin and Greek at the college, re- 
tiring in 1958 after 54 years of 
service! Continue on to 30. 

9. Correct! In addition to begin- 
ning congregations across the United 
Joseph W. 
Beer served 
as modera- 
tor of the 
(in 1882), 
wrote two 
books on 
topics, and 
edited a 
Brethren Elder Joseph W. Beer 

hymnal. He also served as Henry 
Holsinger's secretary in the writ- 
ing of Holsinger's History of the 
Tunkers and The Brethren Church. 
Swing by 24, then on to 13. 

10. Right (and your mind isn't so 
bad either!). Claud Studebaker not 
only memorized the names of his 
parishioners, he knew their birth- 
days, anniversaries, addresses, and 
phone numbers. He also memorized 
all of the New Testament and much 
of the Old Testament. He was also 
a gifted, caring leader. On to 18. 

11. Good choice! In 1894, Samuel 
Duncan, the son of a German Bap- 
tist elder, returned to Oak Hill 
from Bridgewater College wearing 
new glasses with gold frames. The 
presiding elders of his congrega- 
tion expelled the young student for 
wearing the gold frames, resulting 
in the formation of the Oak Hill 
Progressive Brethren Church by 
Samuel's father, Elder Arthur B. 
Duncan. Freeman Ankrum, Breth- 

The Brethren Evangelist 

ren historian and one-time pastor 
of the Oak Hill congregation, noted 
that Samuel suggested the tune for 
the well-known hymn, "Leaning On 
the Everlasting Arms." The tune is 
credited to A. J. Showalter, who 
taught in the music department at 
Bridgewater College. Now try 5. 

12. Daniel Miller, an acquain- 
tance of Henry Holsinger and the 
organizer of the Milford, Ind., Breth- 
ren Church, served as the local 
newspaper correspondent for the 
volatile Annual Meeting of 1882. 
Miller was later expelled from the 
church for his account of that An- 
nual Meeting, in which he detailed 
the tensions within the denomina- 
tion. He was also heavily criticized 
for his involvement in: 

Education. Go to 15. 
Politics. Go to 7. 

13. William J. H. Bauman (1837- 
1922) began many Brethren congre- 
gations in the Missouri valley and 
served as the only delegate from 
that area to the Dayton Conven- 
tion of 1883. His daughter-in-law, 
Mary M. Wageman Bauman (1876- 
1909), founded the first chapter of 
what organization? 

Sister's Society of Christian 
Endeavor. Go to 3. 

Sisterhood of Mary and Martha. 
Go to 29. 

14. No, you're behind the times. 
In 1883 Henry Holsinger traveled 
to California to preach to the scat- 
tered Brethren in the San Diego 
area, but one congregation had al- 
ready been organized in the state a 
number of years earlier. See 25. 

15. Afraid not. Try 7 instead. 

16. Gotcha! Go back to 20 and 
try again. 

17. No, James Gribble did not 
help form the Foreign Missionary 
Society (FMS), but he and his wife, 
Florence Newberry Gribble, did be- 
gin Brethren mission work in French 
Equatorial Africa in 1918, eighteen 
years after the formation of the FMS. 
See 2. 

18. Brethren settled in Califor- 
nia as early as the 1849 Gold Rush, 
but no Brethren congregation was 
organized in that state until: 

1883. Go to 14. 
1857. Go to 25. 

February 1995 

19. Yes. Charles Francis Yoder 
(1873-1955, son of E. L. Yoder) was 
a scholar, missionary, and (from 
1903-1907) editor of The Brethren 
Evangelist. Move on to 21. 

20. Other Brethren leaders of 
this time helped initiate progress 
in education through their work 
with the 
young, finan- 
cially trou- 
bled Ash- 
land College. 
One such 
leader was 
J. Allen 
Miller, who 
served as 
president of 
the institu- 
tion twice, 
from 1894 to Dn J ' Allen Mllkr 
1896 and again from 1898 to 1906. 
In 1906 he stepped down as presi- 
dent to become: 

Dean of the Bible department. 
Go to 8. 
Head football coach. Go to 16. 

21. Claud Studebaker (1883- 
1961) pastored Brethren churches 
in Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, and Penn- 
sylvania. The author of A Brief In- 
troduction to the Brethren Church, 
he was known throughout the de- 
nomination for: 

Manufacturing automobiles. Go 
to 27. 

His outstanding memory. Go to 

22. No, not this congregation. 
The Newark congregation was be- 
gun as a Home Mission church in 
1954, and initially services were held 
in the local YMCA. Later, services 
were held in the Missionary Board's 
portable chapel. Now the church is 
noteworthy for having the only 
round building in the denomination. 
Quite a spectacle! Detour to 11. 

23. Nope, try 4 instead. 

24. Good choice! D. C. Moomaw 
was a minister in the Shenandoah 
Valley of Virginia who was devoted 
to the Progressive cause. Like 
Bashor, he held "protracted meet- 
ings" (evangelistic services) regu- 
larly, which resulted in the organi- 
zation of 11 congregations in the 
Blue Ridge mountains. Backtrack 
to 9, then go to 13. 

25. Right on! George Wolfe led a 
group of Brethren to California 
who settled in the San Joaquin val- 
ley and who organized the Lathrop 
Brethren Church in 1857. Even 
though this church originated prior 
to the division of 1882, the congre- 
gation remained loyal to the Pro- 
gressive cause following the divi- 
sion. Ease on down to 31. 

26. After its formation in 1883, 
The Brethren Church soon organ- 
ized denominational boards. A key 
figure in the formation of the For- 
eign Missionary Society was: 

Jacob C. Cassel. Go to 2. 
James S. Gribble. Go to 17. 

27. No, Claud Studebaker did not 
manufacture cars, although he was 
related to the Studebaker family 
that built cars by that name in 
South Bend, Indiana, and whose 
homestead was just east of Ash- 
land, Ohio. Claud, however, was 
known for other accomplishments. 
See 10. 

28. A pair of gold-framed spec- 
tacles played a significant part in 
bringing about the formation of 
this congregation: 

The Newark, Ohio, Brethren 
Church. Go to 22. 

The Oak Hill, West Virginia, 
Brethren Church. Go to 11. 

29. Correct. Mary Bauman began 
the first local Sisterhood of Mary 
and Martha in 1906 while she and 
her husband were serving the 
Philadelphia, Pa., First Brethren 
Church. Mrs. Bauman was also an 
ordained minister, having been or- 
dained in 1900 by the Roann, Ind., 
congregation at the recommenda- 
tion of the Missionary Board. She 
took her husband's place in the 
pulpit during his absences as a 
traveling evangelist. Head back to 

30. Like J. Allen Miller, this in- 
dividual attended the University of 
Chicago and taught courses at Ash- 
land Seminary. He also began Breth- 
ren mission work in Argentina in 
1909, and served there many years. 
This person was: 

E. L. Yoder. Go to 6. 
C. F. Yoder. Go to 19. 

31. Congratulations! You've fin- 
ished this quiz on early leaders of 
The Brethren Church! [ft] 

the Bible 

NO MOVEMENT starts in a 
vacuum. That is to say, every 
movement — whether intellectual, 
social, artistic, or religious — always 
reflects the cultural setting in 
which it originated. This is true 
even of Christianity. Jesus Christ 
was born into a particular culture, 
spoke the language of that culture, 
dressed and ate and worshiped as 
did others in that culture. 

To be sure, Jesus was unique 
both because of who He was and 
because of the divine message that 
He proclaimed. But in both cases, 
His uniqueness had points of con- 
tact with His culture. Jesus came 
as a flesh-and-blood, lst-century 
Jew, and He declared His message 
in a way that was understandable 
to lst-century Jews. All of these 
truths are part of the mystery of the 
incarnation — Christ becoming one 
of us, for us and for our salvation. 

The Brethren movement, which 
began in the 18th century, likewise 
reflected the historical and cultural 
setting of its day. Our faith finds its 
heritage in two movements in par- 
ticular: Pietism and Anabaptism. 

Roots of Pietism 

Pietism has its roots in 17th- 
century Europe, when the Chris- 
tian faith had become very stale 
and rigid. Catholics, Lutherans, and 
Reformed — the three major Chris- 
tian groups — had developed a form 
of religious expression that empha- 
sized correct beliefs and insisted on 

Dr. Stoffer is assistant professor of 
historical theology at Ashland Theologi- 
cal Seminary. He serves on The Breth- 
ren Church's Committee on Doctrine, 
Research, and Publication, which is 
preparing this series of articles. 

Our Brethren 
Spiritual Inheritance 

By Dale R. Stoffer 

conformity to particular creeds and 
confessions. The clergy of these 
groups devoted much of their writ- 
ing and preaching to pointing out 
the rightness of their own position 
and the errors of the other expres- 
sions of faith. 

As a result, the vitality and fer- 
vor of the 16th-century Reforma- 
tion had been lost. Creeds became 
better known than the Bible. Clergy 
became defenders of orthodoxy 
rather than pastors to their people. 
Contentious, cold orthodoxy stifled 
concern for a devotional life com- 
mitted to loving God and neighbor. 

Correct doctrine is not enough 

Pietism responded to this situation 
by insisting that correct doctrine is 
not enough. Christians must also 
seek to practice their faith rightly. 
It is not enough merely to be born 
again. Christians must also live the 
new life in Christ. Christians are 
known by love for God and love for 
neighbors, especially their brothers 
and sisters in Christ. Knowing the 
creeds is not enough. Christians must 
know and live the Bible. Clergy 
must be truly concerned about the 
spiritual vitality of their people, 
and laity must be encouraged to de- 
velop their own devotional lives 
through the reading of Scripture 
and other devotional works. 

Correspondence Welcomed 

The members of the General Con- 
ference Executive Council's Commit- 
tee on Doctrine, Research, and Pub- 
lication invite readers to suggest topics 
or Bible passages to discuss in future 
articles in this column. Send ques- 
tions, comments, or suggestions to 
the committee in care of The Breth- 
ren Evangelist, 524 College Ave., 
Ashland, OH 44805. 

Most of the early Brethren, prior 
to the beginning of the Brethren 
movement, were connected with a 
more radical form of Pietism that 
stressed separation from all Chris- 
tian groups, rejected the necessity 
of such outward observances as 
baptism and communion, and 
sought a more inward and individ- 
ual form of devotion to Christ. They 
shared, however, many of the basic 
convictions of the Pietists, especial- 
ly that Christians are called to right 
living as well as to right belief. 

As they studied the Bible to- 
gether, the small group of people 
led by Alexander Mack who formed 
the core of the first Brethren came 
to the conviction that full obedience 
to Christ and the Scriptures called 
them to more than just an inward, 
individual devotional life. They be- 
lieved that the New Testament also 
directed them to observe such out- 
ward or formal practices as bap- 
tism, communion, discipline, and 
anointing the sick with oil. The 
early Brethren were especially drawn 
to the Mennonites, whom they con- 
sidered the group that most fully 
modeled the life and outward prac- 
tices of the early Christian church. 

Basics of Anabaptism* 

The Mennonites were an Anabap- 
tist group that began during the 16th- 
century Reformation. They were 
severely persecuted by Catholics, 
Lutherans, and Reformed alike. 
The Anabaptists stood opposed to 
many of the accepted practices of 
the day. They rejected infant bap- 
tism and baptized only believers. 

*Anabaptism means to baptize again, 
and Anabaptists were so called because 
they required those who wanted to join 
them who had been baptized as infants 
to be baptized again. 

The Brethren Evangelist 

'Though most of our beliefs and practices can be traced to these two 
movements [Pietism and Anabaptism], the uniqueness of the Breth- 
ren is found in the way that we have blended them together." 

They believed that government must 
not interfere in the affairs of the 
church, whereas other groups believed 
in the state-church concept, the idea 
that government should support and 
recognize only one faith — and per- 
secute all others. 

Likewise, Anabaptists held that 
Christians are citizens only of the 
kingdom of God, not of the king- 
doms of this world. For this reason, 
they refused to swear allegiance to 
or take up arms for any govern- 
ment. In fact, they were horrified 
that throughout Europe Christians 
were killing Christians in the name 
of Christ because their allegiance 
to a government was superior to 
their allegiance to Christ. Above all, 
Anabaptists sought to follow Jesus 
Christ and His Word in full obedi- 
ence, even if that meant being put 
to death for their faith — as tens of 
thousands were. 

Points in common 

It is noteworthy that even though 
Pietism and Anabaptism each had 
its own characteristic emphases, 
both had a number of points in 
common. For example, both had a 
high regard for Scripture, believing 
that it was to be fully obeyed, not 
just with regard to doctrine, but es- 
pecially with regard to the life that 
is modeled by Christ and the disci- 
ples. Both movements were opti- 
mistic about the individual's ability 
to live the Christlike life because of 
the power of the indwelling Spirit. 
Both movements stressed the priest- 
hood of all believers far more than 
the other religious groups, for they 
felt that all Christians should be 
active participants in knowing and 
practicing the faith. And both move- 
ments sought to cultivate true love 
for God and neighbor. 

The Brethren were heirs to both 
of these movements. Like the Ana- 
baptists and Pietists, they applied 
Scripture to both doctrine and life, 
doing so in a mostly literal fashion. 
They read the Bible in order to fol- 
low Christ more closely in disci- 

February 1995 

pleship. Guided by the Holy Spirit, 
they tried to obey both the com- 
mands and the example of Christ 
and the apostles, in order to live in 
ways that demonstrated love of God 
and neighbor. 

Though most of our beliefs and 
practices can be traced to these two 
movements, the uniqueness of the 
Brethren is found in the way that 
we have blended them together. A 
basic tension tends to emerge be- 
tween the emphases of the Pietists 
and those of the Anabaptists. The 
Pietists generally emphasized those 
truths and qualities that were in- 
ward, spiritual, and individual. The 
Anabaptists generally stressed as- 
pects of the faith that were out- 
ward, practical, and corporate. The 
Brethren sought to give recognition 
to both of these aspects of the faith, 
to hold together truths which seemed 
to be in conflict. To illustrate this I 
have developed the following chart: 

by the demand for concrete, outward 
obedience to an objective Scrip- 
tural norm. Conversely, when the 
Anabaptist tendency would slide off 
into formalism, legalism, biblical 
literalism, or works-righteousness, 
it is checked by the reminder that 
faith is essentially a work of God 
within the heart of the individual 
believer, an intensely personal re- 
lationship rather than a legal one. 
Thus, within Brethrenism, Anabap- 
tist influences discipline Pietism 
at the same time that Pietist influ- 
ences inspire Anabaptism.* 

One of the trademarks of the Breth- 
ren has been this desire to main- 
tain balance on issues on which 
Scripture itself presents two sides. 
This is exemplified in how the Breth- 
ren drew truths from both Anabap- 
tism and Pietism to arrive at a bal- 
anced understanding of (1) individ- 
ual and corporate interpretation of 
Scripture and (2) the understand- 
ing of obedience. 

Inward, spiritual emphasis 


Outward, corporate emphasis 

The leading of the Spirit 
(the inner Word) 

The authority of Scripture 
(the outer Word) 

Inner spiritual baptism 
(by the Spirit) 

Outward physical baptism 
(in water) 

Inward faith 

Outward obedience 

Individual freedom of expression 

Corporate unity and peace 

Openness to new truth 
(based on the Spirit's leading) 

Corporate consensus 
(based on Scripture) 

Concern for an individual's 
spiritual growth 

Concern for corporate purity 
through discipline 

Brethren have been at their best 
when they have maintained a bal- 
ance between these two aspects of 
the faith. Vernard Eller, a Church of 
the Brethren writer, has offered this 
observation about how the empha- 
ses keep each other in check: 

The two emphases check and bal- 
ance each other. When the Radical 
Pietist tendency would slide off into 
subjectivism, private inspiration, 
mysticism, enthusiasm, or vaporous 
spiritualism, it is pulled up short 

First, the Pietists, especially Radi- 
cal Pietists, championed freedom of 
conscience in religious matters, re- 
fusing to be coerced into accepting 
the creeds and confessions of the 
state churches in Europe. Pietists 
in general also were willing to hold 
doctrinal views that were not in con- 
formity with the creeds but which 
(continued on page 11) 

*Vernard Eller, "On Epitomizing the 
Brethren," Brethren Life and Thought 6 
(Autumn 1961): 50-61. 


NAE Tackles the School Prayer Issue 

A working document for a proposed constitutional amendment, prepared by 
the Office of Public Affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals. 

In recent years increased interest has 
been shown in adding an amendment to 
the Constitution of the United States 
that would define and clarify the right 
of students in public schools to pray. 

The need for such an amendment is 
indicated by the current controversy over 
the issue as well as the confusion about 
what kinds of religious expression in 
public schools are now considered con- 
stitutional. For example, the Supreme 
Court ruled in 1992 that when a Jewish 
rabbi offered a brief prayer at a public 
high-school graduation ceremony, his 
doing so was unconstitutional. On the 
other hand, prayers at graduation cere- 
monies are apparently constitutional if 
the graduates themselves initiate such a 
prayer, ask one of the students to offer it, 
and that student offers a non-sectarian 
prayer. Some schools, however, are re- 
luctant to even allow such prayers at 
commencement ceremonies. 

Further evidence of the confusion is 
indicated in that most schools have no 
problem with students gathering at the 
school flagpole before school hours to 
pray during the annual "See You at the 
Pole" observance. But school officials at 
a school in Corpus Christi, Texas, 
warned students that they would be pun- 
ished if they participated in the 1993 
"See You at the Pole" observance. The 
school officials claimed that this activity 
was against school district policy. And 
while most school officials would see no 
problem if a student said a private 
prayer before eating lunch at school, re- 
cently a student at one school was given 
detention for doing so. 

One group that is seeking to clarify 
this issue is the Office of Public Affairs 
of the National Association of Evangeli- 
cals. This office, located in Washington, 
D.C., has prepared a proposed prayer 
amendment as a working document to 
encourage discussion and debate of this 
issue. Dr. Robert P. Dugan, Jr., Director 
of the Office of Public Affairs, in a con- 
versation with Editor Dick Winfield, 
stressed the fact that this is a working 
document. It has not been approved by 
the National Association of Evangelicals, 
nor has it been presented to Congress. 
Furthermore, it is only one among a 
number of attempts by various groups to 
write a proposed amendment that will 
define the right of students to pray in 


public schools. The NAE Office of Public 
Affairs hopes that by offering this pro- 
posal, it will contribute to a discussion 
of this issue that will result in a final 
Student Prayer Amendment proposal 
that will gain the widest possible sup- 
port from the American people. 

The proposed amendment and the 
"Rationale" behind this amendment are 
being printed here, with the permission 
of the NAE Office of Public Affairs, in 
order that Brethren people might be 
aware of the proposal and give careful 
thought to this subject. It is important 
that the "Rationale" be studied along 
with the proposed amendment in order 
to understand the meaning of this pro- 
posal, and also in order to grasp the 
larger ramifications of the school prayer 

Student Prayer Amendment 

to the 

Constitution of the United States 

a working document proposed by the 

Office of Public Affairs of the 

National Association of Evangelicals 

December 7, 1994 

Section 1. The recognition of God 
being necessary to secure the Crea- 
tor's blessings of liberty to ourselves 
and our posterity, nothing in this Con- 
stitution shall be construed to deny or 
abridge the free exercise right of public 
school students to participate in 
prayer. As used in this article, "prayer" 
includes individual or group religious 
expression, as well as vocal or silent 
prayer, by students in public schools at 
any time. 

Section 2. Neither the United States 
nor any State shall prescribe the form 
or content of prayer, require any stu- 
dent to participate in prayer, or deny or 
abridge the right of any student to have 
an equal opportunity to participate in 
prayer according to the dictates of con- 

Section 3. The Congress and the 
several States shall have concurrent 
power to enforce this article by appro- 
priate legislation. 


To Accompany a 
Student Prayer Amendment 

to the 

Constitution of the United States 

a working document proposed by the 

Office of Public Affairs of the 

National Association of Evangelicals 

The proposed constitutional amend- 
ment reflects a good-faith effort by the 
National Association of Evangelicals 
(NAE) to remove from the field of con- 
troversy the school prayer issue which 
has divided the American people far too 
long. NAE has tried to be faithful to the 
Founders of this great nation, while ful- 
filling the hopes of the American people 
that this difficult and divisive issue 
finally be resolved. 


NAE firmly believes in the separation 
of church and state, but ours is an ac- 
commodationist rather than an absolut- 
ist view. On the one hand, we do not get 
upset at a U.S. postage stamp of the 
Madonna and Child, as do some abso- 
lutists. On the other hand, we do not 
subscribe to the view that because the 
words "separation of church and state" 
are not found in the Constitution, the 
separation concept is not there. The 
word "Trinity" is not found in the Bible, 
but the concept is clearly there. We be- 
lieve there should be room for the ac- 
commodation of the free exercise of re- 
ligion without such accommodation be- 
ing considered "an establishment of re- 
ligion" within the meaning of the Estab- 
lishment Clause of the First Amend- 
ment. The First Amendment, in part, 
provides: "Congress shall make no law 
respecting an establishment of religion, 
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." 

NAE has made every effort to be as 
fair as possible both to minorities and to 
majorities. Our purpose is to end the 
divisiveness the school prayer contro- 
versy has long generated by providing a 
constitutional framework that would 
enable a religiously pluralistic people to 
live in peace with their deepest differ- 
ences. We believe a balance can be 

The Brethren Evangelist 

struck on the school prayer issue if men 
and women of good will work together 
to find common ground. 

Nonetheless, we expect that some 
strict separationists will assert that the 
Bill of Rights — especially the Estab- 
lishment Clause — should not be 
"changed." However, the amendment 
we propose does not change the Estab- 
lishment Clause. Rather, it corrects cer- 
tain absolutist interpretations of that 
Clause by the Supreme Court which 
have changed its original meaning and 
undermined the free exercise of relig- 
ion. The Establishment Clause was in- 
tended as a shield, not as a sword; it 
should not be construed to prohibit the 
reasonable accommodation of the free 
exercise of religion which is the core 
value of the two religion clauses of the 
First Amendment. 

Nothing in NAE's proposed amend- 
ment is intended to have any adverse 
effect on application of the Equal Access 
Act of 1984 or the Religious Freedom 
Restoration Act of 1993. 

Part I of this Rationale discusses the 
operative provisions of NAE's proposed 
constitutional amendment. Part II dis- 
cusses the introductory clause. 


Section 1 affirms the free exercise of 
religion as a constitutional right of all 
students in public school. It provides 
that nothing in the Constitution shall be 
construed to deny or abridge the free 
exercise right of students to participate 
in prayer. As used in the proposed 
amendment, "prayer" includes individ- 
ual or group religious expression, as 
well as vocal or silent prayer, by stu- 
dents in public schools before, during, 
or after the school day. This Rationale 
uses the word "prayer" in the same ex- 
pansive sense. 

Section 1 is intended as a corrective, 
in the context of student prayer, of cer- 
tain absolutist interpretations of the 
Establishment Clause by the Supreme 
Court. These interpretations have met 
with the approval of a majority of the 
Court despite many impressive and im- 

passioned dissenting opinions. They 
have also met with the approval of some 
religious and civil rights groups dedi- 
cated to an absolutist "high and impreg- 
nable wall of separation between church 
and state." But these absolutist inter- 
pretations of the Establishment Clause 
have never been accepted by the vast 
majority of the American people. 

Year after year, poll after poll, the 
American people have overwhelmingly 
expressed their discontent with the Su- 
preme Court's absolutist interpreta- 
tions of the Establishment Clause. A 
rabbi's brief prayer at a public school 
graduation ceremony has been ruled "un- 
constitutional." Lee v. Weisman (1992). 
Even a silent prayer has been stuck 
down as "unconstitutional." Wallace v. 
Jaffree (1985). While individuals have 
rights, so does the community, includ- 
ing the student public school commu- 
nity. The American people rightly sense 
that there is nothing wrong — or uncon- 
stitutional — in letting a group of stu- 
dents who want to say a prayer say it. 

Justice Goldberg was right to express 

Brethren Inheritance 

(continued from page 9) 
did have, they felt, scriptural sup- 
port. For example, many Pietists be- 
lieved in a literal millennium, while 
all other groups at that time re- 
jected it. They held these views as 
"private opinions" derived from Scrip- 
ture so as not to run into problems 
with official church doctrine. Also 
many Radical Pietists (and some early 
Brethren) held the doctrine of uni- 
versal restoration. (See next month's 
article for a discussion of this belief.) 

Though the Anabaptists shared 
the Pietist view that the individual 
has the right to follow Christ apart 
from state interference, they lim- 
ited private interpretation with an- 
other conviction that served as a 
counterweight. Because of their 
strong commitment to the corporate 
community of faith, they sought to 
come to like-mindedness on all mat- 
ters of faith and practice. In discuss- 
ing differences of interpretation, they 
aimed for consensus, for they took 
seriously scriptural calls to be of the 
same mind (see 1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 
13:11; Phil. 2:2). (See also the article 
on "The Hermeneutical Community" that 
appeared in last month's Evangelist.) 

Although in their application of 
Scripture the Brethren have not 
always consistently upheld both 
sides of this balance, both emphases 

February 1995 

can be found. For example, the 
Brethren extended to individual 
Brethren the right to begin such 
private ventures as periodical lit- 
erature and Brethren-related edu- 
cational institutions during the 
19th century. At the same time, 
they sought consensus on issues 
that came before Annual Meeting 
(the 19th-century forerunner of our 
General Conference). 

Today, we have probably shifted 
the balance too far to the side of 
individual freedom of conscience. 
This may be due more to the influ- 
ence of American individualism on 
the church, though, than to any self- 
conscious scriptural reason. It 
would be good for the entire church 
— local, district, and national — to use 
consensus in our decision-making 

The concept of obedience 

Second, Anabaptism and Pietism 
have influenced the Brethren con- 
cept of obedience. When the Pietists 
talked about obedience to Christ, 
they tended to focus on scriptural 
admonitions that dealt with the per- 
sonal devotional life. They sought 
an individualized application of 
Christlikeness. Interestingly, mod- 
ern evangelicals have inherited this 
more individualized approach to 

The Anabaptists also emphasized 

obedience, but they placed more 
stress on following Christ and Scrip- 
ture in outward, corporate ways. 
For example, they felt that no true 
church could exist without discipline. 
They also were committed to be- 
liever's baptism and visible expres- 
sions of love for brothers and sisters 
in the faith. The emphases that 
Pietists and Anabaptists brought to 
Scripture caused them to apply it in 
slightly different ways. 

The Brethren are heirs to obedi- 
ence understood both as a personal, 
devotional walk with Christ and as 
a commitment by the body of Christ, 
the church, to follow the biblical 
pattern of the early church. Both of 
these emphases are necessary, for 
true maturity in Christlikeness is 
both an individual and a corporate 
process. (Have you noticed that the 
maturity that Paul talks about in 
Ephesians 4:11-16 is the maturing 
of an entire church?) This under- 
standing of (and commitment to) 
obedience is characteristic of the 
Brethren approach to Scripture. 

May we, as soon-to-be 21st-century 
Brethren, realize that our heritage 
is both Anabaptist and Pietist. Our 
uniqueness is found in our commit- 
ment to live a faith that is maturing 
both individually and corporately, 
both inwardly and outwardly, both 
spiritually and biblically into the 
likeness of Christ. [ft] 


the concern that the Supreme Court's 
original school prayer decisions, if mis- 
understood, could eventually result in 
"a brooding and pervasive devotion to 
the secular and a passive, or even ac- 
tive, hostility to the religious" in public 
schools. But that, all too often, has come 
to pass. A religious vacuum pervades 
many public schools, despite the fact 
that 94 percent of Americans say they 
believe in God. A "religion of secularism" 
has become entrenched in many of the 
nation's public schools, as Justice Ste- 
wart predicted. The reservations of Jus- 
tices Goldberg and Stewart in 1963 
have become reality. 

Section 1 insures that the Establish- 
ment Clause is not to be interpreted to 
prohibit an accommodation of the free 
exercise right of public school students to 
participate in prayer. However, this right, 
in the nature of things, cannot be abso- 
lute. School officials must be able to main- 
tain discipline and provide an orderly 
learning environment. Therefore, in ac- 
cordance with existing constitutional law, 
the free exercise right of students to 
participate in prayer would be subject to 
reasonable time, place, and manner re- 
strictions. However, any such restric- 
tions would have to be fully justified 
under the strict compelling interest, least 
restrictive means standard of the Relig- 
ious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. 

Section 2 provides three significant 
safeguards which protect the free exer- 
cise rights of all students: 

(1) Government is prohibited from 
prescribing the form or content of 
prayer. This provision precludes the 
government from either composing the 
words of a prayer or prescribing a 
prayer of its choosing. It is consistent in 
this regard with the Supreme Court's 
holdings in the school prayer cases, 
Engel v. Vitale (1962) and Abington v. 
Schempp (1963). 

"The American people rightly 
sense that there is nothing 
wrong — or unconstitutional — in 
letting a group of students who 
want to say a prayer say it. " 

(2) Government is prohibited from 
requiring any student to participate in 
prayer. This provision reflects the Su- 
preme Court's holding in West Virginia 
v. Barnette (1943) that Jehovah's Wit- 
nesses could not be forced to salute the 
flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance. 
Note that the Jehovah's Witnesses asked 
only to be excused from participating in 
an activity which was contrary to their 
religious beliefs; they did not ask that 
the flag salute and Pledge of Allegiance 
be banned from the classroom. 

(3) Government is prohibited from 

denying or abridging the right of each 
student to have an equal opportunity to 
participate in prayer according to the 
dictates of his or her conscience. This 
provision affirms a basic principle of the 
Bill of Rights that fundamental individ- 
ual rights are not to be subordinated to 
majority rule. And by respecting the 
dictates of conscience it insures the 
equal rights of all students — the be- 
liever in God, the agnostic, the atheist, 
and those adherents of nontheistic re- 
ligions such as Buddhism and Taoism. 
Schools should be places of respect and 
tolerance, not censorship. In order to 
protect all students from religious dis- 
crimination, school officials must main- 
tain order and not permit a "hecklers' 
veto." Every religious belief, from the 
orthodox to the unorthodox, is entitled 
to equal protection of the laws. The 
openness section 2 fosters should help 
prepare students for life in a future 
America that daily grows more cultur- 
ally and religiously diverse. 

Section 3 grants concurrent power to 
Congress and the States to enforce the 
amendment by appropriate legislation 
because the states are most directly in- 
volved in public education. 


The introductory clause of the pro- 
posed amendment — 'The recognition of 
God being necessary to secure the Crea- 
tor's blessings of liberty to ourselves and 
our posterity" — is based primarily on 
the Preamble to the Declaration of In- 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, 
that all men are created equal, that they are 
endowed by their Creator with certain un- 
alienable rights, that among these are life, 
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — That 
to secure these rights, governments are insti- 
tuted among men, deriving their just pow- 
ers from the consent of the governed .... 

This bold recognition of God-given 
rights as "self evident" truths — meaning 
beyond debate — radically changed the 
philosophy of government. Thomas Jef- 
ferson's inspiring words were revolu- 
tionary in a day when kings were sover- 
eign and people were subjects. The Con- 
stitution was later instituted as the 
means "to secure these rights." Many 
others have since endorsed the Declara- 
tion's ringing affirmation of "God-given 
rights." President John F. Kennedy, in 
his Inaugural Address, stressed the 
Founders' "belief that the rights of man 
come not from the generosity of the 
state, but from the hand of God." Martin 
Luther King, Jr., in his renowned Letter 
from Birmingham Jail, referred to 
"God-given rights." 

The end-and-means relationship of 
the Declaration and the Constitution is 

reflected in the Preamble to the Consti- 
tution which states that the Constitu- 
tion was ultimately being established in 
order to "secure the blessings of liberty 
to ourselves and our posterity." The in- 
troductory clause of NAE's proposed 
constitutional amendment also draws 
on this language of the Preamble to the 

"We need to signal a reaffir- 
mation of the trust in God 
which makes America unique 
in the family of nations." 

Our purpose is not just to revive the 
understandings of a past that some 
seem to have forgotten and others con- 
veniently ignore, but also to issue a bold 
challenge to the American people. Do 
"We, the People" still believe the Foun- 
ders were correct in their recognition of 
and reliance on God? Our history indi- 
cates we do. The national motto is In 
God We Trust."The Pledge of Allegiance 
proudly proclaims that we are "one na- 
tion under God." The Great Seal of the 
United States, represented on the back 
of the one-dollar bill, states "Annuit 
Coeptis," meaning "He (God) has fa- 
vored our undertakings." 

Yet such official acknowledgments of 
God are often taken for granted and 
dismissed as so much "civil religion." 
Even the reference to the "year of our 
Lord" 1787 at the end of the Constitu- 
tion is considered meaningless by those 
who insist the Constitution is a wholly 
"secular" document. This despite the 
fact, as stated in the Preamble to the 
Constitution, that the Founders insti- 
tuted our constitutional form of govern- 
ment to "secure the [God-given] bless- 
ings of liberty to ourselves and our pos- 
terity" of which the Declaration of In- 
dependence so eloquently speaks. 

Enshrined on the walls of the Jeffer- 
son Memorial are his immortal words: 

God who gave us life gave us liberty. 
Can the liberties of a nation be secure when 
we have removed a conviction that these 
liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I trem- 
ble for my country when I reflect that God 
is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever. 

Have the American people lost the 
conviction that their "liberties are the 
gift of God'? The society in which we live 
has gone astray. We need to signal a 
reaffirmation of the trust in God which 
makes America unique in the family of 
nations. Indeed, the Founders' recogni- 
tion of God and His gift of religious 
freedom is the bedrock principle that 
animates our republic, lays the moral 
foundation for all the other liberties we 
as Americans enjoy, and defines us as a 
people. [ft] 


The Brethren Evangelist 

Brethren Church Ministries 

Keeping the Body of Christ 
Evangelistically Fit 

By Larry R. Baker 

ANOTHER YEAR is with us, 
with all our resolutions for 
leading a better, healthier, more 
productive life. I was in a dis- 
count store recently, and five or 
six people were clustered around 
a clerk who was demonstrating 
the features of a treadmill exer- 
cise machine that was on sale. 
Most of these people appeared to 
be interested in getting into bet- 
ter physical condition. I hope they 
use whatever they decide to pur- 
chase, because that's the key to 
getting in shape — regularly using 
the equipment. 

My wife and I bought an exer- 
cise machine a couple of years 
ago. I've used it a few times. 
Probably the most exercise I got 
was putting it together. 

I take comfort in the thought, 
however, that "for a fat man, I'm 

Rev. Baker is pastor of the First 
Brethren Church of South Bend, Ind. 

in pretty good shape." 
My blood pressure is 
an acceptable 125/72; 
my total cholesterol 
count is under 175; 
and I eat a fairly good 
diet. Besides consum- 
ing cookies, coffee, 
and junk food, I drink 
diet soda, have re- 
duced my red meat 
consumption, eat my 
fresh fruit and veg- 
gies, and have tried to 
cut unnecessary fat 
from my diet. Hence 
my conclusion that 
"for a fat man, I'm in 
pretty good shape." 
But I'm not in good enough shape 
to backpack 40 miles in the 
Grand Canyon or the Isle Royal, 
or to swim one-half mile (things I 
did 10-15 years ago). 

Evangelistic fitness 

It occurred to me recently that 
the church often looks at evangel- 
istic fitness in much the same 
way that I look at my physical fit- 
ness. We know that evangelism 
and outreach are important. We 
do the elements of evangelism 
that are convenient and important 
to us and either ignore or min- 
imize the elements with which we 
are uncomfortable. If we continue 
doing enough of these elements, 
we usually succeed to some degree 
in keeping the church stable or 
growing at a slow rate. Therefore 
we conclude that "for a church our 
size, we're in pretty good shape." 

If I really want to keep my body 
in good shape for the rest of my 
life, I'm going to have to consider 
all the elements that affect its 
well-being, including aerobic ex- 
ercise, vitamins, adequate rest, a 

balanced diet, and proper weight. 
To know what I need to do in each 
of these areas, I can monitor my 
weight, blood pressure, cholesterol 
level, heart rate, etc., and com- 
pare the results with those of a 
physically fit person. Once I am 
aware of those areas that need 
work and what I need to do to get 
into shape, I just need to do it! 

I've been on successful diets 
several times in my life. My prob- 
lem is that after losing 15 to 25 
pounds, I go back to my old ways 
and gradually gain back the weight 
I lost plus a few more pounds. I 
have three sizes of clothes hang- 
ing in my closets, and once again 
I am wearing the largest size. 

If I am really serious about get- 
ting in shape, I will have to do 
all the things that lead to having 
a fit body, not just the ones I enjoy. 
And I must see doing these things 
as a way of life, not as just a fad 
that I do for a few months and 
then go back to my old habits. 

A new self-perception 

In addition, I must see myself 
in a new light. I must stop refer- 
ring to myself as a "fat man" and 
start seeing myself as a "physi- 
cally fit man." NOT— "for a fat 
man, I'm in pretty good shape," 
BUT — "for a physically fit man, I'm 
doing fine in these areas but need 
improvement in those areas." I 
must not abandon what I'm doing 
right, but I must do what I know 
to be in my body's best interest. 

The church is in a similar posi- 
tion. We know a lot about evan- 
gelism and church growth. Some 
very good monitoring methods 
have been developed in recent years 
that can give churches a good pic- 
ture of their evangelistic fitness. 
(continued on next page) 

February 1995 


Recently, Passing On the Promise 
has helped many churches know 
more about these areas. 

Over the years, the church has 
been on various evangelism diets: 
the Campus Crusade "I Found It" 
diet; the Evangelism Explosion 
diet; the Billy Graham Crusade 
diet; the Win Arn Church Growth 
diet; the Ralph Neighbour, Jr., 
Touch Basic diet; the Carl George 
Metachurch diet; etc. All these diets 
worked to some extent. 

But when the evangelism em- 
phasis was over, many churches 
went back to their old ways of do- 
ing what was convenient or com- 
fortable. They did not fully prac- 
tice what they had learned. Oh, 
they could talk the talk. But they 
only walked the walk (put into prac- 
tice what they learned) when they 
felt like it. Usually, growth slowed 
or even reversed, and they de- 
cided that the particular evangel- 
ism diet wasn't all it was cracked 
up to be. 

Many Brethren churches have 
been participating in Passing On 
the Promise for over a year — some 
for over two years. This formal 
"process" will end this year for 
some and next year for the rest. 
Listening to those involved in 

POtP is a lot like listening to 
comments you might hear at a 
Weight Watchers meeting. You 
hear things like . . . 

• "We gained several members in 
the beginning, and then it was 
slow going for a while." 

• "It was hard for us to get with the 
program at first, but now we are 
gaining new members. It's great!" 

• 'This program isn't really what 
we're used to. We'll keep going to 
the meetings for a while, but I 
don't think it will make much 

Make it a way of life 

In order for churches to get the 
most from POtP (or from any good 
evangelistic diet) and in order for 
them to continue to improve their 
evangelistic fitness, they need to 
make it a way of life. They can't 
ever stop "Reaching Out in Word 
and Deed" or "Inviting and Wel- 
coming New People" or "Including 
and Involving New People" or 
"Growing in Christian Discipleship" 
and expect to stay evangelistically 
fit for very long. All of these ele- 
ments are important if we want 
to be evangelistically fit. All of these 
elements must be faithfully prac- 
ticed — and not just discussed — if 

we want to stay in good shape as 
the Body of Christ. We just need 
to do it! 

We must also see our churches 
in a new way. We need to com- 
pare our churches with the evan- 
gelistically fit church of the first 
century. NOT — "for a church our 
size, we're in pretty good shape," 
BUT — "for an evangelistically-fit 
church, we're doing fine in these 
areas but we need to improve in 
those areas." We must not aban- 
don what we are doing right, but 
we must do what we know to be 
in the best interest of the church 
and of the Body of Christ. 

As the Apostle Paul wrote: "And 
let us not get tired of doing what 
is right, for after a while we will 
reap a harvest of blessing if we 
don't get discouraged and give up 
(Gal. 6:9, TLB). POtP and many 
other evangelism and church- 
growth programs are not meant 
to be fad diets. If congregations 
can focus on the blessings and the 
benefits of evangelistic fitness and 
not get tired of exercising, POtP 
(and other similar programs) can 
be a way of life that will keep them 
evangelistically fit and growing into 
the 21st century. We can all get 
excited about that prospect! [ft] 

Look What's Happening 
n Some Passing On the Promise Churches 

St. Luke Brethren Church 
Woodstock, Virginia 

Pastor Dave Benshoff reported 

"A week ago, I had the privilege 
of baptizing five and receiving 
those five plus five transfers into 
membership this past Sunday. 
We have had 16 total so far this 
year [1994] join with us. PTL! 

"We have averaged 100 in wor- 
ship in October and had 113 yes- 
terday. We are also running in the 
high 60s in our Sunday school. 

"Passing On the Promise has 
really made the difference in our 
people and their commitment to 
ministry and their Lord. . . . 

'The Brethren at St. Luke have 
also organized a Facilities Task 

Force to begin assessing our unit 
here to see the needs of the pre- 
sent and the future. 

"God has really been good to us. 
Please pray that he shields us 
from Satan's discouragement in 

Editor's note: It is of significance 
that the St. Luke Brethren Church 
is a rural congregation. In fact, the 
mailing address for the church is 
"3250 Back Road"! Yet, the church 
has experienced growth. The con- 
gregation has also developed a faith 
budget for the first time — nearly 
$64,000 — and includes Fair Share 
Support for all denominational 
ministries at 106 percent of the 
General Conference recommended 

Northwest Brethren Chapel 
Tucson, Arizona 

The church had a tremendous 
response to Reaching Out in Word 
and Deed, the fall Bible Study/ 
Action curriculum, according to 
Passing On the Promise Field Staff 
member Roger Stogsdill. The adult 
Sunday school class doubled in 
size. People are becoming more 
purposeful in "reaching out." For 
example, members of the church 
have distributed over 100 copies 
of The Message of Hope (Scripture 
passages from the New Testa- 
ment paraphrase The Message by 
Eugene Peterson). 

Prior to Christmas, the church 

planned a couple of "Super Satur- 

(continued on page 1 6) 


The Brethren Evangelist 

Brethren Church Ministries 

Inviting and Welcoming 
New People 

7NVITING and Welcoming New 
People is the theme of the spring 
Bible Study/Action unit of Pass- 
ing On the Promise. Every con- 
gregation should do all it can to 
"put out the welcome mat" for new 
people. Following are some ideas 
you may be able to use in helping 
your church become more "invit- 
ing and welcoming." 

Notice, but don't smother 

1. New people do not like to be 
smothered . . . but they do like to 
be noticed. No one who visits your 
church should be able to "escape" 
without several people offering a 
welcome and engaging the person 
in conversation. Visitors expect 
greeters, ushers, and the pastor 
to welcome them; they will be 
drawn back if they find a warm 
welcome from people in the pew. 
Speak to visitors first and friends 
later! In his book Attracting New 
Members, Bob Bast says that the 
friendliness and warmth of the 
church is perhaps the number one 
thing visitors (potential members) 
are looking for in a church. 

Follow them up 

2. Following up visitors is es- 
sential if they are to return and 
eventually join your church. Visits 
from lay persons are particularly 
effective. In his book How to 
Build a Magnetic Church, Herb 
Miller says that when lay persons 
make a 15-minute visit in the 
home of first-time worship visitors 
within 36 hours (by Monday eve- 
ning), 85% return the following 
week. When that lay visit is made 

*Adapted by Rev. Waters, Director 
of Brethren Church Ministries, from 
the Leader's Manual for Inviting and Wel- 
coming New People. 

By Ronald W. Waters' 

within 72 hours (by Wednesday), 
60% are likely to return. If, how- 
ever, the lay visit is delayed for a 
week, only 15% are likely to 
make a return visit. Miller goes 
on to say that if only the pastor 
visits, the results are cut in half! 

For congregations where lay 
persons do not call on visitors, less 
than 15% will eventually become 
members. However, congregations 
where lay persons make a visit 
within 36 hours find as many as 
30^40% of their visitors will even- 
tually join the church! 

Growing churches who follow up 
second-, third-, and fourth-time 
visitors may see as many as 75% 
of them eventually become mem- 
bers, according to Win Arn in The 
Church Growth Ratio Book. 

Pastors must be role-models 

3. Pastors play a vital role in 
modeling evangelism for their 
congregations. Churches where 
the pastor is a good role model for 
leading people to faith in Jesus 
Christ will likely have many lay 
persons who follow that model. 

Members must get involved 

4. Churches that rely solely or 
even mostly on the pastor to 
bring others to faith and member- 
ship in the church will likely be 
declining. As more and more mem- 
bers of the church become sensi- 
tive to opportunities presented by 
the Holy Spirit to share their faith 
with other persons, the church will 
experience a greater potential for 
drawing people to saving faith in 
Jesus Christ. 

Worship must meet needs 

5. Bob Bast also says in Attract- 
ing New Members that the char- 
acter of the worship service may 

be the second most important fac- 
tor that visitors are looking for. 
The service should meet the felt 
needs of visitors. They should be 
able to understand what is going 
on in the service. And they should 
feel uplifted by it. Of course, if the 
members of the church do not find 
the service alive and exciting, they 
are not likely to invite friends, rel- 
atives, and neighbors to join them! 

Pray for the unsaved 

6. People who have identified by 
name three or more people who 
need to accept Jesus Christ as 
saving Lord and who pray for 
them regularly often find that 
they themselves become the an- 
swer to their own prayers — that 
the Holy Spirit, in fact, opens 
windows of opportunity for shar- 
ing their faith in natural, non- 
threatening ways. 

Examine the nursery 

7. Take a long, hard look at 
your nursery through the eyes of 
a young mother. Would you want 
to leave your child there? Gener- 
ally, people feel more comfortable 
leaving their child with a grand- 
motherly type than with a group 
of enthusiastic young people! Are 
the toys clean and inviting or are 
they everyone's cast-offs? Is there 
a quiet place where babies can 
sleep? Are infants and toddlers 
separated from energetic and 
awkward twos and threes? See 
your nursery as a ministry and 
staff it and equip it accordingly. 

Is parking adequate? 

8. People are used to shopping 
centers with large parking lots that 
have ample spaces. They'll drive 
right by a church with inadequate 
parking. Be creative in finding 

February 1995 


additional parking spaces. Con- 
sider a satellite parking lot with 
shuttle service for members, sav- 
ing the precious spaces closest to 
the building for visitors and the 

Provide for the disabled 

9. Jesus said, "As you've done 
it to the least of these . . ." (Matt. 
25:40). Providing designated park- 
ing, access ramps, wide doorways, 
restroom facilities, water foun- 
tains, and out-of-the-aisle seating 
for the elderly and disabled will 
set your church apart from most 
others and show how much you 
really care about reaching all peo- 
ples. Also provide several desig- 
nated parking spaces for first- or 
second-time visitors. 

Provide trained greeters 

10. No one should get into or 
out of the church without a warm 
welcome. While encouraging warm, 
friendly greetings by everyone, 
there will be visitors who slip in 
at the last minute, sit in the back 
pew, and make a bee-line for the 
door during the closing hymn. 
Trained greeters should be friend- 
ly, outgoing, and able to give ade- 
quate directions. In fact, some 
growing churches even have 
parking lot greeters to serve as 
the front line of welcome for visi- 
tors (and members too!). 

Put up restroom signs 

11. Nothing is worse than be- 
ing a stranger and having to ask 
for directions to the restroom. In 
fact, many visitors will want to 
duck into a restroom as soon as 
they enter the door — they find it a 
familiar haven in a strange place. 
If your restrooms are not near the 
main entrance, be sure to provide 
clearly visible signs to them. 

Open your hearts 

12. Herb Miller says, "Some 
churches open their doors to the 
public. Others open their hearts." 
Find ways to encourage members 
to take the initiative in speaking 
to visitors. You may feel shy around 
strangers. But think how difficult 
it must be for most of your vis- 
itors, particularly if they do not 
know anyone in your church! 

Ask how you failed them 

13. Win Arn says repeat visitors 
are the most likely to eventually 
join the church. If people do not 
return for a second or third visit, 
they probably did not feel at home. 
Consider asking non-returning 
first-time visitors what attracted 
them to the church in the first 
place and what kept them from re- 
turning. First-time visitors are 
asking, "Can I find friends here? 
How will I fit in?" 

Provide refreshments 

14. Many people lose their in- 
hibitions about talking when they 
have a coffee cup in their hand. 
Light refreshments offer a nat- 
ural opportunity for getting ac- 
quainted. Some churches provide 
refreshments in the entry area; 
others in Sunday school classes; 
still others in the fellowship hall. 
Before or after the services or both 
are great times. 

Use name tags 

15. Many long-term church 
members recoil at the thought of 
wearing name tags. Who needs 
them when you already know 
everyone? But visitors do not 
know everyone. Putting a name 
tag on visitors merely singles 
them out from the crowd ... it 
helps the church members get to 
know the visitor, but the visitor 
hasn't a clue about anyone else's 
name. Wearing a name tag is a 
small price to pay to "set your ther- 
mometer on friendly." 

Whom can you invite? 

16. Inviting and welcoming be- 
gins with the initial invitation. Who 
is in your circle of influence? Whom 
do you know who needs the love 
and forgiveness of Christ? Who 
needs the support and encourage- 
ment of the people of God? [ft] 

Evangelistically Fit 

(continued from page 14) 
days" when they provided free 
child care for people in the com- 
munity. They intend to follow up 
on families who take advantage 
of this service. 

The church also dedicated its 
new fellowship hall and educa- 
tion wing in October. (See report in 
December 1994 Evangelist.) 

According to Pastor David West, 
'Passing On the Promise was the 
spark that ignited the people to 
see that we don't 'hold church'; we 
'become church.' " 

Northgate Community Brethren 
Church, Manteca, Calif. 

Pastor Roger Stogsdill reports: 

"After an extensive plateau of 
nine months, significant progress 

has again been made." He reports 
that two sermon series had a dra- 
matic effect. The first, on spir- 
itual disciplines, challenged people 
to seriously live out their faith. The 
second, on worship, has opened the 
door for experimentation and chal- 
lenged people to worship God per- 
sonally and as families at home." 

Events have included a church 
vision meeting, a district vision 
meeting, "Kumar Day" (featuring 
Brethren missionaries Prasanth 
and Nirmala Kumar of India), and 
family talent night (held on a Sun- 
day evening and attended by 107). 

They held their annual Thanks- 
giving dinner this year at another 
church in town to provide enough 

The church conducted "agape 
celebrations" in homes every night 

of the first week of November. 
Pastor Stogsdill was out of town 
for meetings, so the gatherings 
were led by members of the dea- 
con board. The celebrations served 
as the fall Communion service for 
the church. Though normal Com- 
munion attendance is 50-55, more 
than 80 signed up to take part in 
these unique home celebrations. 

What about your church? 

We want to feature how God is 
using your church in unique 
ways to "reach out in word and 
deed." You don't have to be par- 
ticipating in the Passing On the 
Promise process to qualify. 

Send a report to The Brethren 
Evangelist, 524 College Ave., Ash- 
land, OH 44805. Pictures are also 
welcomed and encouraged. [D'l 


The Brethren Evangelist 



Western Brethren Gather to Plan Future Work 
Of Brethren Church West of the Mississippi 

Las Vegas, Nev. — History repeated 
itself when eighteen Brethren gathered 
January 10-12 in Las Vegas to worship 
and pray and to make plans for the 
future work of The Brethren Church 
west of the Mississippi River. 

Building on the 1994 Western Breth- 
ren Pastors' Retreat, which centered on 
vision, cooperative ministry, and church 
planting, the pastors and spouses at 
this year's retreat began to put "nuts 
and bolts" to the vision which God has 
given them for ministry in the West. 

Westerners attending the retreat 
were Pastor Mark and Cathy Britton, 
Derby, Kans.; Pastor Reilly and Cindy 
Smith, Mulvane, Kans.; Pastor Emery 
and Sue Hurd, Cheyenne, Wyo.; Pastor 
Roger Stogsdill, Manteca (Northgate 
Community Church), Calif.; Pastor 
Randy Best, Stockton, Calif.; Pug Reis- 
ner, Jim McNiff, Tom Saunders, Pastor 
Dave West (Northwest Chapel), and 
Pastor Bill Brady (Tucson First), all of 
Tucson, Ariz. Also attending were Ash- 
landers Rev. Russ Gordon (Director of 

U.S. Ministries for the Missionary 
Board); Rev. Dave Cooksey (Director of 
Pastoral Ministries for The Brethren 
Church) and his wife Carolyn; and Dr. 
Fred Finks (President of Ashland Theo- 
logical Seminary) and his wife Holly. 

The retreat opened with worship led 
by Roger Stogsdill and Jim McNiff, fol- 
lowed by devotions presented by Dave 
West. Pastor West emphasized from 
several passages in Mark's Gospel that 
the work of this retreat was about 
Jesus, His eternal kingdom, and the 
responsibility to advance the work of 
the Lord. 

Representatives from each church 
then shared positive things that are 
happening in the ministries of their con- 
gregations. Of particular note was the 
announcement from the Southwest Dis- 
trict that the Catalina Brethren Fellow- 
ship would be launched north of Tucson 
on January 19 with the start of a Bible 
study under the direction of Jim McNiff. 

Discussion then centered on what the 
Lord would have the Western Brethren 

World Relief Office Robbed 
At Gunpoint in Goma, Zaire 

Wheaton, 111. — Two men armed with 
assault rifles forced their way onto the 
World Relief compound in Goma, Zaire, 
on January 26 and held a World Relief 
female staff worker at gunpoint while 
the office was looted and ransacked. 

The assailants, whose identity is un- 
known, left the staff worker unharmed 
after stealing office equipment. Two 
other World Relief staff members sta- 
tioned at the Goma compound were at 
other locations when the robbery took 
place, and neither they nor any other 
buildings near the compound were tar- 
geted by the gunmen. 

Following the incident, the staff per- 
son was in good condition and spirits. 
She left the compound the following day 
with World Reliefs Goma program man- 
ager John Kimbrough to travel to the 
field office in Kigali, Rwanda. 

The Goma office is the base of opera- 
tions for World Reliefs emergency re- 
sponse to Rwandan refugees along the 
Rwanda/Zaire border. Some 1.2 million 
refugees still remain in the area. 

Despite an increase in incidents like 
this in and around Goma and Zaire in 
general, this is the first such incident 

February 1995 

encountered by World Relief staff. 
"Even with security risks, World Relief 
is operating relief programs in Goma 
because the need is still great," stated 
David Loudon, World Reliefs disaster 
response director. 'This is a tough place 
for all involved to do relief work, but our 
focus remains on the work that needs to 
be done to help save lives." 

World Relief continues to provide 
food, medicine, and shelter for more 
than 300 unaccompanied Rwandan 
children, including 190 in a supervised 
tent shelter in Mubambiro, Zaire, ap- 
proximately 20 miles west of the Goma 
office. There have been no security prob- 
lems at this site. 

"We are treating this as an isolated 
incident, but we are also upgrading per- 
sonal security arrangements for staff," 
Loudon said. "We will continue to pro- 
vide relief to refugees who are in desper- 
ate need," he added. 

World Relief was one of the first relief 
agencies heading international efforts 
to provide food, clothing, and medical 
assistance to refugees during and im- 
mediately following the mass exodus 
from Rwanda last July. 

Not one of us has to possess earth- 
shaking talent. Just common sense and 
love will do. — M.Auvil 

do in their areas of ministry over the 
next several years. Out of this discus- 
sion a vision statement developed for 
the Western Region, which states: The 
Western Brethren seek a visible, co- 
operative ministry for the expansion of 
the Kingdom of God west of the Missis- 
sippi River." 

Objectives were then formulated to 
implement this vision. These objectives 
focused on four key areas: 

(1) Leadership development. The ob- 
jective in this area is to target, train, 
and develop leaders to serve as pastors 
and church planters in the Western re- 
gion and to encourage the development 
of spiritual gifts that may be employed 
in ministry. 

(2) Church planting. Participants at 
the retreat recommitted themselves to 
the goal of planting eleven new Breth- 
ren churches west of the Mississippi 
River by the year 2000, and they ex- 
pressed a desire to discover and maxi- 
mize the potential for ethnic ministry. 

(3) Communication. The goal is to com- 
municate the Western vision and needs 
with The Brethren Church as a whole 
and to develop a strategy to promote the 
work and ministry of this region. 

(4) Mutual cooperation. The partici- 
pants pledged to cooperate in support- 
ing one another's ministries through 
current district and national channels. 
They also will seek to improve their 
involvement with one another and with 
the Brethren denomination, and will 
seek to encourage eastern districts to be 
aware of and involved in the ministry of 
the Western Brethren. 

The planning of the Great Western 
Brethren Roundup, to be held June 23- 
25, 1995, in Estes Park, Colo., took up 
the remainder of the retreat. Coordina- 
tors were selected to care for program, 
publicity, registration, small groups, 
and finances. A program of worship, 
praise, small group discussion time, and 
fellowship was established. 

The three-day retreat concluded with 
a time of prayer for the Western Region 
and its churches. Special prayer with 
laying on of hands was offered for Jim 
McNiff and the new work he is under- 
taking in Catalina, Ariz.; and for Rev. 
Reilly Smith in his new work as Execu- 
tive Director of the Missionary Board of 
the Brethren Church. The group was 
also reminded that they are part of the 
Brethren family throughout the nation 
and the world, yet with a special vision 
from God for the western United States, 
where He calls them to declare His mes- 
sage . . . even in Las Vegas. 

— reported by Rev. Bill Brady 



Brethren Young People from Northern Indiana 
Spend Weekend Engaged in Operation Carelift 

Goshen, Ind. — A group of young peo- 
ple, their sponsors, and other volun- 
teers (86 people in all) from northern 
Indiana and southern Michigan made a 
mission trip November 3-6 to Lancas- 
ter, Pa., where they packed school sup- 
plies to be sent to Moscow, Russia, as 
part of Operation Carelift. 

Youth from the Jefferson, Goshen, Mil- 
ford, Nappanee, Winding Waters, and 
County Line Brethren churches were 
joined by young people from a Nazarene 
Church in Sturgis, Mich., for the trip. 

The trip was the brain child of the 
Elkhart County Youth Pastors — Roy 
Andrews (Nappanee), John Howenstine 
(Elkhart), Dave Kline (Goshen), Jim 
Mobus (Winding Waters), and Billy 
Hesketh (Jefferson). The idea was born 
during one of their regular meetings at 
McDonald's restaurant. It grew out of a 
desire to provide a meaningful experi- 
ence for the youth, something that 
would make an impact on their lives. 
Josh McDowell's Mission to Russia and 
Operation Carelift ministries, already 
familiar to some in the Jefferson Breth- 
ren Church, seemed to offer just what 
they were looking for. 

Initially these youth pastors thought 
they would be doing great if they could 
get 25 to 30 young people to go. They 
would go in vans, find a church to sleep 
in, and eat at McDonald's. But God en- 
larged their vision and provided their 

They decided that the way to go was 
to charter a 55-passenger coach; they 
ended up taking two busses, which a 
tour company provided at cost! They 
thought it would be good if they could 
stay in a church with more amenities; 

they found a church with a full kitchen, 
a gym, and a locker room with showers, 
which was located close to the ware- 
house where they would work. They 
hoped for good weather; the sun shone 
and temperatures climbed above 70 de- 
grees. They hoped the youth wouldn't 

host church (with a charismatic miracle 
and healing service). But most of all, it 
was a time for service, as they helped 
pack thousands of Careboxes with tons 
of materials and made hundreds of sal- 
vation bracelets, all of which will be 
distributed in Russia. 

This group was a small part of the 
more than 2,000 people who worked at 
the Carelift warehouse that weekend. 
By the time the weekend was over, more 
than 24,000 Careboxes were ready to be 

At work on the Carebox assembly line. 

have to miss much school; most missed 
only one-half day (which was probably 
a disappointment to most of the young 
people, who wouldn't have minded miss- 
ing more!). 

It turned out to be a rich experience 
for all who went. They had the opportu- 
nity to make new friends and to fellow- 
ship together on the 1 1 -hour bus trip to 
Pennsylvania and back, at the church, 
and at the warehouse. They had times 
of worship together at the warehouse, at 
the host church, and on the bus ride 
home. It was a time of learning, with 
learning experiences provided by the 
warehouse staff, by Stas (Josh McDow- 
ell's Russian interpreter), and by the 

shipped to Russia. The boxes contained 
school supplies, vitamins, a copy of Josh 
McDowell's book, More Than a Carpen- 
ter, and the Gospel of John. 

An added feature of the trip was a 
visit to the Ephrata Cloister, located 
near Lancaster. There they received a 
brief history lesson about a group that 
was an offshoot of the early Brethren in 

The group returned home tired, but 
blessed by the rich experiences of the 
weekend. Some are already looking for- 
ward to repeating the experience again 
next year. 

— reported by Billy Hesketh, Youth 
Pastor of the Jefferson Brethren Church 


Youth, sponsors, and other volunteers who made the trip to Lancaster. Photos by Dr. Jim Hollinger 

The Brethren Evangelist 


Convocation of Evangelical Leaders Discusses 
Racial Issues and Steps Toward Reconciliation 

Wheaton, 111. — Dr. Mary Ellen Drushal, 
Academic Dean for Ashland Theological 
Seminary; Rev. David Cooksey, Direc- 
tor of Pastoral Ministries for The Breth- 
ren Church; and Mr. Daryl Freeman, 
moderator of the Southeast Christian 
Fellowship (Brethren Church) of Wash- 
ington, D.C., were among more than 
170 evangelical leaders who gathered 
January 6-7 in Chicago to address the 
issue of racism and to discover how best 
to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to a 
bruised and broken world. 

Brought together by a joint planning 
committee appointed by the National 
Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and 
the National Black Evangelical Associa- 
tion (NBEA), participants expressed the 
belief that the convocation may have 
been a watershed in racial reconcilia- 
tion within the evangelical community. 

Rev. David Cooksey talked enthusias- 
tically about the gathering. He noted 
that the convocation brought to his at- 
tention issues of which he was abso- 
lutely unaware. He said, "It was great 
to be able to sit down and talk about 
these things without fear of anyone tak- 
ing offense." 

Three major plenary addresses were 
interspersed with times of small-group 
discussion. The addresses were given by 
George McKinney, bishop, Church of 
God in Christ, San Diego; William Pan- 
nell, professor, Fuller Theological Semi- 
nary, Pasadena; and Manuel Ortiz, pro- 
fessor, Westminster Theological Semi- 
nary, Philadelphia. 

During the small group discussions, 
attendees talked, listened, and prayed 
together around a series of topics pre- 
sented by convocation facilitators. Re- 
flecting on this aspect of the convoca- 
tion, Harold L. Myra, president of 
Christianity Today, Inc., said, The dia- 
logue around the tables with blacks and 
whites in an atmosphere of great candor 
about racial reconciliation deepened our 
understanding, appreciation, and com- 

From a long list of possibilities, those 
attending the convocation selected five 
topics for immediate consideration and 
action within the evangelical commu- 
nity. They are: unbiblical theology, re- 
pentance and forgiveness, fear and mis- 
trust, attitudes and perceptions, and in- 
stitutional racism. 

We have committed the Golden Rule 

to memory; let us now commit it to life. 

— Edwin Markham 

A significant moment in the convoca- 
tion came in the concluding session, 
when Don Argue, 
president-elect of the 
National Association 
of Evangelicals, called 
Lloyd Lindo and 
Clarence Hilliard, 
president and vice 
president respec- 
tively of NBEA, as 
well as Aaron Ham- 
lin, executive direc- 
tor, to come to the po- 
dium. Then in a spirit 
of repentance and hu- 
mility, he asked for 
forgiveness of black 
evangelicals for 
NAE's failure to be 
sensitive and respon- 
sive to the concerns of 
the black community. 
He also requested 
NBEA leaders to lay 
hands on him and 
pray for him that God 
would guide him 
when he assumes the 
presidency of NAE. 

Organizers of the 
convocation plan to be 

meeting on a regular basis to consider 
how the action items suggested by the 
small groups can best be pursued by 
both NAE and NBEA. 

A follow-up article to the convocation 
by Dr. Mary Ellen Drushal is planned 
for the March issue of the Evangelist. 

West Alexandria, Ohio — The entire Webster family — 
Rick and Shawna Webster and their daughters, Tasha 
(14) and Samantha (IOV2) — were baptized December 18 
at the West Alexandria First Brethren Church. This was 
the largest family baptism on record at the West Alexan- 
dria Church. The congregation received a special bless- 
ing by witnessing this entire family joining with them as 
the family of God. Rev. David Oligee, pastor of the 
congregation, conducted the baptism. 

— report and photo by Luella Painter 

Linwood, Ma\ — The Linwood Brethren Church has a new "Praise and Worship" 
team, which has brought a new dimension of music to the church. Formation of 
the group is an outgrowth of Passing On the Promise, with the idea coming from 
the Linwood co-coordinators Ron and Sandy Miller and Paul and Linda Garver 
following their attendance at an Evangelism Leadership Academy. The Praise 
and Worship team gave their first performance on Sunday evening, December 4, 
and additional performances are planned for February 5 and April 2. They will 
also participate in the revival services planned for April 29 to May 4, when Dr. 
Harold Barnett will be the evangelist. Shown in the photograph are (I. to r.) Ron 
Miller, Sue Myers, Linda Garver, Sandy Miller, James and Allison Frado, 
Marylou Wilkinson, Diana Dixon, Stacy Robertson, and Paul Garver. 

— reported by Pastor Robert Keplinger 

February 1995 




Catalina Brethren Fellowship, a 

new outreach of the Southwest District, 
held its first meeting — a home Bible 
study — on Thursday evening, January 
19. Catalina is a fast-growing area 
north of Tucson, Ariz. Leaders of this 
new ministry are Jim and Sandy 
McNiff, members of Northwest Breth- 
ren Chapel in Tucson. 

Members of the Roanoke, Ind., 
Brethren Church held an apprecia- 
tion party for Pastor Ron and Pei 

Burns following the autumn business 
meeting. Those who attended enjoyed a 
social hour with Pastor and Mrs. Burns 
and presented them a gift. Other notes 
of interest from Roanoke reporter Phyl- 
lis Williams: Don and Sarah Burns are 
the new youth leaders at Roanoke. With 
the help of Pei Burns (the pastor's wife), 
the new youth leaders organized an 
orchestra, which was a pleasing part of 
the children's Christmas program. Sev- 
eral women of the church have also 
organized a Good News Club for ele- 
mentary-age children that meets after 
school on Wednesdays. In December, 
the group went Christmas caroling to 
shut-ins in Roanoke, Huntington, and 
Fort Wayne and were treated by being 
taken out for lunch. 

"We are seeing a revival sweep through 
our church as people are coming alive in 
their spiritual walk with God," wrote 
Pastor Dan Lawson in the January 
newsletter of the Oakville, Ind., First 
Brethren Church. He went on to point 
out evidence of that revival. Among the 
things he mentioned were the following: 
In December five people were baptized 
and seven members were added to the 
church. The church's cell groups are 
growing by leaps and bounds; a new 
Bible study has been started on Sunday 
nights (in addition to the one at the 
church); a women's Bible study meets 
regularly on Tuesday mornings; a "Moms 
in Touch" group has been started in 
which mothers get together to pray for 
their children and their children's 
school and teachers. In addition, twenty 
people made a commitment to read 
through the Bible in 1995, and the 


church's Living Sacrifice Workshop for 
the month filled up almost immediately. 
Other continuing ministries — Sunday 
school classes, W.M.S., and the churches 
five youth ministries — are also thriving. 

Pastor Stephen Cole of the New- 
ark, Ohio, Brethren Church, who 

had a life-threatening illness in late 
April and early May last year (see 
"Spared to Continue to Preach" in the 
December 1994 Evangelist), believes 
that the Lord spared his life a second 
time in 1994. And this time the Lord 
spared the lives of his wife and daughter 
as well. During the night of Wednesday, 
December 28, the parsonage furnace 
stopped working. When a repairman 
came, he refused to re-light the furnace, 
stating that it was dangerous to life and 
health. The heat exchanger was cracked 
in two places, and the pipe where the 
exhaust gases left the furnace was badly 

rusted. He asked if the Coles had expe- 
rienced any symptoms of carbon monox- 
ide poisoning, which, fortunately, to the 
best of their knowledge they had not. A 
new high-efficiency furnace was in- 
stalled that same day. The old furnace 
was made in 1948, the same year Pastor 
Cole was born. Pastor Cole was happy it 
was the furnace that died, and not he! 

Pastor Brian and Amanda Moore 
of the Saint James, Md., Brethren 
Church won a trip to the Rose Bowl this 
past holiday season. Mrs. Moore won 
the trip, which was co-sponsored by 
Sunkist Growers, Inc., and the Weis 
grocery chain, by entering her name in 
a drawing at a local Weis supermarket. 
The prize included air fare to Los Ange- 
les and back, five nights at the Ritz- 
Carlton Hotel in Pasadena, and re- 
served-seat tickets for the Rose Bowl 
(continued on page 22) 

In Memory 

Josephine M. Gable, 84, January 1 8. Member at 
the time of her death of the Loree Brethren 
Church and W.M.S. Mrs. Gable was the widow 
of Brethren pastor Rev. Austin F. Gable, who 
died January 7, 1991. Together they had served 
at the Denver, Center Chapel, and Kokomo Breth- 
ren Churches, all in Indiana. Mrs. Gable is sur- 
vived by one daughter, Mary Dingman of Shel- 
byville, Ind.; two sons, Jerry and James, both of 
Route 5, Peru, Ind.; seven grandchildren; three 
step-grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. 
Services were held in the Allen Funeral Home, 
Bunker Hill, Ind., with Pastor James Thomas and 
Rev. Claude Stogsdill officiating. 
Herb Kridler, 76, January 16. Member for 62 
years and deacon of the Pleasant View Brethren 
Church, where he also had served as usher/head 
usher, officer, prayer meeting cordinator, and was 
very active in the Laymen/Men of Mission. He also 
served on the Pennsylvania District Historical 
Committee. Services by Pastor R. Keith Hensley. 
Helen Edith Fritz Myers, 94, January 10. Old- 
est member at the time of her death of the Lin- 
wood Brethren Church. Graveside service by 
Pastor Robert Keplinger. 

Paul Gearhart, 78, January 5. Lifelong member 
of The Brethren Church of New Lebanon. Serv- 
ices by Pastor James F. Black. 
Betty Jean Harrington, 63, January 2. Member 
for 49 years of the Bryan First Brethren Church. 
Services by Pastor H. Raymond Aspinall. 
B. Joan Nalley, 61, December 28. Member for 
many years of the Washington, D.C., (now 
Southeast Christian Fellowship) Brethren 
Church. Services by Rev. John B. Mills. 
Cecile M. Babcoek, 82, December 23. Member 
for many years of the Washington, D.C., (now 
Southeast Christian Fellowship) Brethren 
Church. Services by Pastor Rickey Bolden. 
Gertrude Bradley, 84, December 22. Member 
of the Ashland Park Street Brethren Church. 
Services by Pastor Arden E. Gilmer. 
Taylor A. Poffenberger, stillborn, December 
20. Daughter of Erick and Sarah Poffenberger, 
members of the Lanark First Brethren Church. 
Services by Pastor Jim Garrett. 

Stella Crowell, 83, December 18. Member for 
4 1 years of the West Alexandria First Brethren 
Church, where she was also a member of the 
Evening W.M.S. Services by Pastor David Oligee. 
Richard W. Chapman, 78, November 22. 
Member of the Flora First Brethren Church. 
Services by Rev. Alvin Grumbling. 
James Davis, 65 August 5. Member for 24 years 
and deacon of the West Alexandria First Brethren 
Church, where he also had served as a Sunday 
school teacher, moderator, trustee, church treas- 
urer, and youth leader. Services by Pastor David 


Raymond and Kathleen Dunn, 60th, January 
13. Members of the Loree Brethren Church. 
J. Kenneth and Florence White, 65th, Decem- 
ber 23. Members of the Cheyenne Brethren Church. 


Ami Bundschuh to James Quinn, December 31, 
at the West Alexandria First Brethren Church; 
Pastor David Oligee officiating. Members of the 
West Alexandria First Brethren Church. 
Barbara Bouldin to Scott Soden, December 27, 
at the Cheyenne Brethren Church; Pastor G. 
Emery Hurd officiating. Members of the Chey- 
enne Brethren Church. 

Amy Navarro to Frank Cornick, December 17, 
at the Cheyenne Brethren Church; Rev. G. Emery 
Hurd officiating. Members of the Cheyenne 
Brethren Church. 

Joyce Smith to Robbin Bitner, August 13, at the 
West Alexandria First Brethren Church; Pastor 
David Oligee officiating. Groom a member of the 
West Alexandria First Brethren Church. 

Membership Growth 

Roanoke: 6 by baptism 

Linwood: 4 by baptism 

Cheyenne: 2 by baptism 

Pleasant View: 1 by baptism 

Meadow Crest: 2 by transfer 

West Alexandria: 1 1 by baptism, 8 by transfer 

The Brethren Evangelist 

Little Crusader 

Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder 
them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:14). 

Dear Boys and Girls, 

Do you love yourself? You might think that this is a strange question. But I think all 
of us would say that we love ourselves. We feed ourselves when we are hungry. We go 
to bed when we are tired. We dress ourselves in warm clothes when it's cold. And we 
find time to play with friends. 

God tells us we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. This command is 
found in the Old Testament book of Leviticus, in chapter 19, verse 18. It is also repeated 
in many places in the New Testament. Jesus Himself repeated this commandment. 

If you love your neighbor as much as you love yourself, you will want the best for 
that neighbor. You will want to help make him happy. You will help her when she is in 
trouble. But most of all, you will want your neighbor to know and love God as much as 
you do. 

Do you know who your neighbor is? Everyone around you is your neighbor! Are you 
following God's words today? Do you love your neighbor as you love yourself? 

Answer the following questions. 

1. Who is your neighbor? 

2. Why should you love your neighbor? 

3. Do you love your neighbor? 

February 1995 


Preparations Intensify in World's Hot Spots 
For Billy Graham's Global Mission in March 

Minneapolis, Minn. — Church lead- 
ers in nations experiencing violence 
and civil war are moving ahead with 
plans for Global Mission with Billy Gra- 
ham, March 16-18. Their hopes for the 
Mission are expressed in the words of 
one university professor in a country 
near civil war: "We don't need the usual 
kinds of aid, we need the gospel." 

Billy Graham's messages from his 
March 16-18 crusade in San Juan, 
Puerto Rico, will be transmitted by sat- 
ellite in at least 80 languages to more 
than 1,700 locations in 165 countries. 
An estimated ten million people will 
participate in these satellite missions 
and subsequent video crusades in the 
weeks that follow. As many as one bil- 
lion people will also hear one of the 
crusade messages from San Juan dur- 
ing prime-time on national television in 
90 to 100 countries, covering 70 percent 
of the world's population. 

At first it was thought that the unrest 
in Haiti would rule out the possibility of 
Global Mission in that country. Now 
church leaders in Haiti are making 
plans for a large Global Mission site in 
the capital, Port-au-Prince, and possi- 
bly a second site in Cap Haitien. 

Hundreds of thousands of Rwandans 
will have an opportunity to view Mr. 
Graham preaching at a satellite loca- 

tion in a refugee camp near the city of 
Goma, on the eastern border of Zaire. 

Many Christians in Uganda hope that 
Global Mission may result in a work of 
God among their people that could stop 
the onslaught of AIDS in their country, 
which has the highest incidence of HIV 
infection in the world. 

The most extensive Global Mission 
outreach in Africa will be in the new 
Republic of South Africa. Crusade Chair- 
man David Molapo said, "I think that 
Global Mission is playing an important 
role in restoring relationships and in 
healing this great country." 

Christians in war-torn Croatia are 
distributing Billy Graham's book, Peace 
With God, in preparation for the Global 
Mission outreach in that country. One 
young woman found this book in her 
father's knapsack, returned to her after 
he had died fighting to defend his vil- 
lage. She said, "I read the book, and I 
found Jesus Christ as my Savior and 
Lord. The book was given to my father 
and I hope that he found Christ before 
he was killed." 

Enthusiastic reports of the prepara- 
tion for Global Mission are coming from 
Russia, where people are making deci- 
sions for Christ in "Prepare the Way" 
rallies. Victor Hamm, director for Global 
Mission for the Commonwealth of In- 

From the Grape Vine 

(continued from page 20) 
Parade and the Rose Bowl Game be- 
tween Oregon and Penn State. (The 
Moores, by the way, are native Pennsyl- 
vanians). While in the area, the Moores 
also attended the Sunday morning wor- 
ship service at the Crystal Cathedral in 
Garden Grove on New Year's Day. 

Rev. James R. Black, Executive Di- 
rector of the Missionary Board of the 
Brethren Church, and his successor, 
Rev. Reilly Smith, left January 21 for 
a five-week visit to Brethren mission 
fields in India and Malaysia. While in 
India, they will participate in the Silver 
Jubliee (25th anniversary) Celebration 
of the Brethren Mission in India. They 
will return to the U.S. on February 25. 
Please keep them in your prayers. 

The First Brethren Church of 
Nappanee, Ind., had a dynamic year, 
according to Pastor Kenneth Hunn in 
his "Pastor's Paragraphs" in the church's 
January newsletter. Average worship 
attendance jumped from 195 to 220, a 
gain of 25 people with a percentage in- 
crease of over 12 percent. According to 

Pastor Hunn, records going back more 
than 20 years indicate that this rate of 
growth was unequaled during the past 
two decades. 

On January 1, 1995, two home mis- 
sion churches — the Bloomingdale 
Brethren Church in Valrico, Fla., pas- 
tored by Rev. David Stone, and the 
Northwest Brethren Chapel in Tuc- 
son, Ariz., pastored by Rev. David 
West — became self-supporting. Con- 
tinue to pray for these congregations 
and their pastors as they seek to make 
ends meet financially and strive to 
reach out to their communities. 

Alice Tharp was honored as lay per- 
son of the year for 1994 by the Chey- 
enne, Wyo., Brethren Church. 

Though she works largely behind the 
scenes, she is faithful in service, regu- 
larly gives rides to those in need, bakes 
cookies for visitors, leads the church's 
sewing group, and helps wherever she 
can. She also serves as the church's 
reporter to The Brethren Evangelist. 
(Out of humility, she didn't report this 
news item; it was discovered in the 
church's newsletter). 

dependent States, reports that tens of 
thousands of Christians will be trained 
to counsel inquirers who make decisions 
at Global Mission crusades in March. 

On a recent visit to northern Russia 
on behalf of Global Mission, Mr. Hamm 
preached in a maximum security prison 
where some of the prisoners had spent 
30 years. Twenty -eight of these persons 
committed their lives to Christ. 

Billy Graham's Global Mission to 165 
countries in March is the largest single 
outreach in the history of the Christian 
church, and one of the most complex 
technical efforts ever attempted. Ac- 
cording to industry experts, Global Mis- 
sion is the biggest project ever at- 
tempted by satellite — even more com- 
plicated than the Olympics, due to the 
number of specific pathways created to 
reach many smaller reception centers. 

of Global Mission 

• More than 165 countries participat- 
ing by satellite 

• More than 1 ,700 Mission locations 

• More than 5 million seats nightly 

• More than 1 million trained in 
preparation, including more than 
500,000 counselors 

• More than 90 countries involved in 
special television broadcasts repre- 
senting 70% of world population 

• More than 80 languages into 
which the message will be inter- 

• More than 300 hours of transmis- 
sion from 9 uplink antennas to 29 
time zones using 30 satellites 

In commenting on Global Mission, 
Billy Graham said, "The technology 
revolution has shrunk the world to a 
global village, with instant access to 
world news networks in even the most 
remote areas. It is time for the church 
to use this technology to make a world- 
wide statement that in the midst of 
chaos, emptiness, and despair, there is 
hope in the person of Jesus Christ." 

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skills are 
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will change your world for the 




The Brethren Evangelist 

News and Notes from All Over 

Hunger and Violence Rooted 
In Loss of Values, Reports Claim 

Wheaton, 111. — Two recent reports 
track hunger, poverty, and escalating 
violence to a collapse of morality and 

World hunger is rooted in a break- 
down of humanitarian values, accord- 
ing to Bread for the World Institute's 
Causes of Hunger: Hunger 1995. Causes 
of Hunger traces hunger to a complex of 
societal problems, including violence, 
powerlessness, poverty, environmental 
overload, and discrimination. 

The report argues that more extensive 
changes in politics and economics are 
needed to get to the roots of hunger and 
related social ills. "We need values — at 
the family level, yes — but also at the 
community, national and international 
levels," says David Beckmann, pres- 
ident of Bread for the World Institute. 

These changes depend on moral choices 
which people make in their individual 
lives and through politics, according to 
Causes of Hunger. The report advocates 
the values of empowerment and justice, 
stewardship of human and natural re- 
sources for the common good, and af- 
firmation of diversity and community. 

What, No Brethren? 

Religious Makeup 
Of the 104th Congress 

Washington, D. C. — Roman Catho- 
lics, with 148, are the largest religious 
group in the 104th Congress, according 
to researcher Albert Menendez. 

Protestant groups with the most 
members are Baptists (68), Methodists 
(63), Presbyterians (59), and Episcopa- 
lians (49). There are also 34 Jews, 23 
unspecified Protestants, 21 Lutherans, 
13 Mormons, 12 United Church of Christ 
members, and six "Christian" or "nonde- 
nominational Christian." There are five 
Unitarian-Universalists, five Christian 
Scientists, and five Eastern Orthodox. 
Three are from the Assemblies of God 
and the same number from the African 
Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Groups with two members each are 
the Church of Christ, the Christian 
Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian 
Reformed Church, and Seventh Day Ad- 
ventist Church. United Brethren in 
Christ, Christian Church and Churches 
of Christ, Christian and Missionary Al- 
liance, Church of the Nazarene, and 
Pan African Orthodox each have one. 
Five members of congress specify no 
religious affiliation. 

— Source: NAE Washington Insight 

The Children's Defense Fund's annual 
report, The State of America's Children, 
also points to a breakdown in American 
values as being responsible for soaring 
violence, the abuse and poverty which 
afflict millions of children. The annual 
report, known for its support for federal 
programs like "Head Start" to benefit 
disadvantaged children, points to collec- 

EEOC Protects Hiring Policy 
of Religious Organization 

Seattle, Wash. — The Equal Employ- 
ment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) 
in December upheld the right of a relig- 
ious organization to hire only employ- 
ees with similar religious beliefs, in a 
case defended in Seattle by The Ruther- 
ford Institute. 

"Religious institutions cannot func- 
tion if the state forces them to hire per- 
sons regardless of their religious, moral 
or immoral, beliefs," said Theodore Van- 
der Wei, the Rutherford Institute attor- 
ney handling the case. 

The case began in June 1993 when 
Youth Outreach, a non-profit religious 
organization based in Vancouver, 
Wash., placed a help-wanted advertise- 
ment in the Portland Oregonian. Youth 
Outreach, which assists troubled youth 
in the areas of crisis intervention, fam- 
ily counseling, foster care, and residen- 
tial group care, was seeking a residen- 
tial counselor. After interviewing 
Natasha Lenhart for the position, 
Youth Outreach declined to hire her be- 
cause she said she was not a Christian. 

"Such employment would have been 
inconsistent with Youth Outreach's 
usage of biblical principles," said Van- 
der Wei. 'The organization would not 
have been able to function according to 
its purposes if it was forced to hire non- 

Lenhart filed a discrimination com- 
plaint with the EEOC alleging that the 
Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been vio- 
lated. In response, The Rutherford In- 
stitute demanded that the EEOC dis- 
miss the complaint because religious or- 
ganizations are exempt from that dis- 
crimination law. As a result of The 
Rutherford Institute's intervention, the 
EEOC dismissed Lenhart's complaint. 

'The Equal Employment Opportunity 
Commission's ruling bolstered the law 
that church and parachurch organiza- 
tions can lawfully decline to hire those 
diametrically opposed to their beliefs," 
said Vander Wei. 

tive irresponsibility for escalating vio- 
lence and increasing family instability. 
"Never [before] have we witnessed the 
threats to family stability and support 
for children posed by soaring out-of- 
wedlock birth rates among Black, 
Brown, and White, rich and poor alike," 
the report states. And "Never [before] 
have we exposed children so early and 
relentlessly to cultural messages glam- 
orizing violence, sex, possessions, alco- 
hol and tobacco with so few mediating 
influences from responsible adults." 
— source WORLDBRIEFS /row World Relief 

Religion Important to 
Children With Disabilities 

Brookline, Maine — Religious faith 
and participation can play an impor- 
tant role in the lives of children with 
disabilities and their families, accord- 
ing to a noted psychologist who asserts 
that many professionals do not appreci- 
ate this role. 

Stanley D. Klein, Ph.D., editor-in- 
chief of Exceptional Parent, a magazine 
for parents of children with disabilities, 
wrote in the December issue, "In this 
issue, we celebrate religion, religious 
education and spirituality and illus- 
trate the progress many faiths are mak- 
ing in including children and adults 
with disabilities and their families in 
community congregational life." 

The psychologist notes, "Sadly, the 
important role that religious participa- 
tion can play in the lives of families is 
rarely discussed in meetings between 
parents and education and health care 

Exceptional Parent is a monthly 
magazine that provides practical guid- 
ance and emotional support to parents 
of children with disabilities. 

Heritage Tour 

October 9-20, 1995 

Visit scenic sites of Anabap- 
tist, Pietist, and Brethren signifi- 
cance in Switzerland, France, 
Germany, and the Netherlands. 
Sponsored by: 
Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc. 

$1,950 from New York (JFK) 

For brochure, contact: 

Don Durnbaugh 

POB 484 

James Creek, PA 16657 



February 1995 


February is 
"Have a Heart" Month 

This month you have the opportunity 
to have a heart for the lost in your com- 

Who are the lost? All who have not 
accepted the love and forgiveness of 
Jesus Christ and who have not made 
Him Lord of their lives. Many in our 
communities are lost and headed for an 
eternity of separation from God. 

You can help reach the lost by giving to 
the "Have a Heart" offering this month. 
Brethren churches will receive an offering 
this month — many on February 12. Up 
to one-half of the gift you give through 
your local church will provide funding to 
help with local outreach ministry. 

The other half will help The Brethren 
Church with supporting costs for Passing 
On the Promise nationwide. 

Our goal this month is $5.00 per per- 
son or $10.00 per family. That's only a 
small amount per person, but it has the 
potential of paying big dividends for God's 
kingdom as He multiplies the gifts of 
Brethren people across the country. 

Thank you for your generous gift. And 
may God give you His heart for the lost! 

Give through your local church, or send 
your gift to: 

Have a Heart 

The Brethren Church 

524 College Ave. 

Ashland, OH 44805 


<E W ■t 

IX r— 
iu iTj 


On Seeing Death as "Gain" 

By Richard C. Winfield, Editor 

"T710R TO ME, to live is Christ 
_I7 and to die is gain," said the 
Apostle Paul in his letter to the 
Philippians (1:21, NIV). I don't hear 
much of this kind of talk in the 
church today, except once in a 
while from the pulpit (particularly 
at funerals). It doesn't seem that 
many of us (myself included) look 
upon death as "gain." 

In fact, quite the opposite seems 
to be true. We cling tenaciously to 
life for ourselves and for our loved 
ones. A friend said to me recently, 
"Everybody wants to go to heaven, 
but nobody wants to die to get there." 
And that seems to be true. 

Evidence of this is the extraordi- 
nary means that are used to keep 
people alive even in cases in which 
the best the person can hope for is 
mere existence, followed by more 
suffering and pain. On occasion I've 
been asked to pray for an elderly 
invalid who has come down with 
pneumonia or a person in a nurs- 
ing home who has suffered a heart 
attack. I ask myself, "How should I 
pray for this (Christian) person? 
Would it be best to pray that the 
Lord would take him or her peace- 
fully home?" 

If we have difficulty seeing for 
an elderly or infirm Christian that 
"to die is gain," it's not surprising 
that we have even more difficulty 
seeing it for ourselves. Why is this? 
I can think of several reasons. 

Why we don't see death as gain 

One reason is our strong attach- 
ment to this world. We don't want 
to leave our loved ones behind. Nor 
do we want to miss out on any- 
thing. We want to see our children 
(or grandchildren or great-grand- 
children, as the case may be) grow 
up and make a life for themselves. 

Another reason we don't see 
death as gain is because of fear. 
We fear the unknown (we've never 
passed this way before). We fear 
the experience of dying (which is 

usually accompanied by some pain 
and suffering). 

Still another reason, closely re- 
lated to the previous one, is lack of 
faith. This can range from doubts 
about our own salvation to doubts 
about whether there really is life 
after death. 

The fact that we have life so good 
here may be another reason we don't 
see dying as gain. Jesus said that in 
His Father's house there are many 
"mansions" (KJV) and that He was 
going there to prepare a place for 
us. Many of us have such nice "man- 
sions" here that we don't get too 
excited about having one in heaven. 

It's not surprising that Christians 
who experience persecution, enslave- 
ment, deprivation, or other kinds 
of suffering have a greater longing 
for heaven. This explains why 
heaven is so evident in some of the 
Negro spirituals that came out of 
slavery. Joni Eareckson Tada has 
written, "Suffering is God's way of 
helping us get our minds on the 
hereafter. God wishes to instill with- 
in each of us a strong desire for the 
imperishable, for the incorruptible, 
for the inheritance that never per- 
ishes, spoils, or fades" (Diamonds 
in the Dust, Zondervan, 1993). 

But perhaps the biggest reason 
we don't see dying as gain is be- 
cause the first part of Paul's testi- 
mony is not true in our lives either, 
namely, "For to me, to live is 
Christ." How many of us can truly 
say that for us, Christ is what life 
is all about? Paul could say this. 
And that is why he could say that 
"to die is gain," because he knew 
that death meant more of Christ. 
Two verses after the one I quoted, 
he said, "I desire to depart [to diel 
and be with Christ, which is bet- 
ter by far . . ." (Phil. 1:23, NIV, em- 
phasis added). 

We've lost our focus 

I think that many of us, as 
Christians, have lost our focus. We 

are not so much interested in gain- 
ing heaven as we are in escaping 
hell. Having received our eternal 
fire insurance by faith, we focus on 
self rather than Christ and on life 
here rather than on life in heaven. 
As a result, we are more con- 
cerned about physical health than 
about spiritual well-being. (Have you 
ever noticed that prayer chains 
usually ask us to pray for some- 
one's physical health but rarely for 
someone's spiritual need or a per- 
son's salvation.) Furthermore, we 
are unwilling to risk our lives for 
Christ or to expose ourselves to 
danger for the sake of the gospel. 
We have not taken very seriously 
the words of Jesus, "Those who love 
their life lose it, and those who hate 
their life in this world will keep it 
for eternal life" (John 12:25, NRSV). 

What's the solution? 

So what's the solution? How do 
we get the focus off the now and on 
to the hereafter? One way is by be- 
coming more devoted to Christ. 
Only if Christ is important to us 
now are we going to want to be 
with Him in heaven. 

Another way is by becoming 
more familiar with what the Bible 
teaches about heaven. One place to 
look is in the Book of Revelation. 
Unfortunately, so often when we 
study this book we focus on the 
plagues and the dragon and the 
beast and on trying to figure out 
what everything means. As a re- 
sult, we neglect those passages that 
describe the incredibly exhilarating 
worship that takes place in heaven 
(chs. 4, 5, 19), and the blessedness 
of the existence there (chs. 19, 20). 

Still another solution: Let's quit 
making our lives so comfortable 
here that we have little interest in 
heaven. Let's take to heart Jesus' 
words about storing up treasures 
in heaven, not on earth, remember- 
ing that where our treasure is, that's 
where our hearts will be also. 

Rather than continually spend- 
ing money to make ourselves more 
comfortable here, let us use those 
funds to send out missionaries; to 
start new Home Mission churches; 
to support our local churches; and 
to advance the gospel in other ways. 
By doing so, we can make it possi- 
ble for thousands more to know the 
gain of eternal life with Christ, [ft] 

The Brethren Evangelist 



1 i i 

March 1995 
Volume 117, Number 3 

The Brethren Evangelist 

(ISSN 0747^288) 


Richard C. Winfield 

Children's Page 

Sandi Rowsey 

Editorial and 
Business Office 

524 College Avenue 

Ashland, OH 44805-3792 

Phone: 419-289-1708 

Published: Monthly (except 
July and August issues are 
combined) by The Brethren 
Church, Inc., 524 College Ave., 
Ashland, OH 44805-3792. Au- 
thors' views are not necessarily 
those of The Brethren Church. 

Subscription Rates: One 

year, $11.50 for 100% church 
lists; $13.50 for church lists 
of five or more names; $14.50 
for individual subscriptions. 
Single-copy price, $1.50. 

Change of Address: Please 
send notice at least three 
weeks in advance. Copy old ad- 
dress from back of magazine 
and send with new address. 

Manuscript Policy: While 
some unsolicited manuscripts 
are accepted, a query letter 
sent first describing a proposed 
manuscript is preferred. In- 
clude a self-addressed, stamped 
envelope with all manuscripts. 
Suggestions and forms for re- 
porting news items are avail- 
able upon request. 

Advertising: The Evangelist 
accepts a limited amount of ad- 
vertising per issue. Rates are 
available upon request. 

Postmaster: Please send Form 
3579 to The Brethren Church, 
524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 

Second Class Postage: Paid 

at Ashland, Ohio. 

Member: Evangelical Press 


On Seeing Death as "Gain" by Richard C. Winfield 2 

We need to get our focus off the now and on to the hereafter. 

Work Hard, and Rejoice! by J. Michael Drushal 4 

If we labor diligently for God and His kingdom, He will give us the 
ability to enjoy life. 

Taking Steps Toward Racial Reconciliation by Mary Ellen Drushal 6 
As Christians, we ought to be doing something about the racism that 
still exists in our society. 

Devoted to Growth Through Worship by Richard E. Allison 8 

The third of four articles on Acts 2:42, the General Conference theme 
verse for 1995. 

Looking for Love by Ron Hutchcraft 9 

Meeting a child's need for love is a parent's critical responsibility. 

The Early Brethren Concept of Universal Restoration 10 

by Dale R. Stoffer 

A description, some historical background, and a biblical response to 

Alexander Mack's position. 

Brethren World Missions 

Ministry Pages 

Missions: The Cure for a Sick Church by James R. Black 

The Brethren Church in Mexico in 1994 

by Todd and Tracy Ruggles 

Colon: A Consecrated Congregation by Allen Baer 
A Silver Jubilee Year in India by K. Prasanth Kumar 



Children's Page 

by Sandi Rowsey 
From the Grape Vine 



Cartoon 3 

Update 16 From the Grape Vine 

The March-April Woman's Outlook Newsletter is in the center of this issue. 

Answers to the Little Crusader page: 

1. Across, Bible; 1. Down, builder; 2. work; 3. courage; 4. tools; 5. wisdom; 
6. help. 

Pontius' Puddle 







March 1995 

Work Hard, and Rejoice! 

the Book of Ecclesiastes ever 
since I read it as part of an Old 
Testament course taught by J. Ray 
Klingensmith when I was a stu- 
dent at Ashland University. I'm 
sure that I had read Ecclesiastes 
before then, because I had read the 
Bible through as a project for my 
Brethren Youth group while I was 
in high school. But we all know that 
you can "read" something without 
the content ever sinking in! Eccle- 
siastes has a special appeal to me, 

Mr. Drushal, a member and modera- 
tor of the University Church in Ash- 
land, Ohio, is assistant professor, Man- 
agement Information Systems, at Ash- 
land University. This article is an ed- 
ited version of a chapel talk he gave at 
the university. 

By J. Michael Drushal 

since it was written by 
a person who had strug- 
gled to understand the 
meaning of the life we 
have been given to live 
here on earth and who 
was very honest in re- 
porting that struggle. 

Forced exposure 

I read several books 
about Ecclesiastes while 
trying to put together 
a Sunday school class 
in Tennessee. I was a 
member of a choir in 
a Presbyterian church 
there, and we rehearsed 
for 30 minutes before 
each service. This made 
it impossible for us to 
attend a regular Sun- 
day school class. 

Several of us thought 
it would be a good idea 
to start a choir class, one 
that could meet during 
the first 30 minutes 
before rehearsal began. 
While we were discussing what to 
study, I mentioned my fascination 
with Ecclesiastes, and I was prompt- 
ly elected to teach! 

This did not seem like much of a 
problem, since I had previously 
taught Sunday school. So I marched 
right downtown to the large Bap- 
tist bookstore in Nashville to pur- 
chase Thirteen Easy Lessons on 
Ecclesiastes. Well, it turned out 
that in 1978 no one had written 
such a book on Ecclesiastes, and I 
was going to have to make up the 
course myself. So I ended up read- 
ing more about Ecclesiastes than I 
had expected to. But I came away 
from the experience even more 
taken with this book of the Bible. 

Several authors in the 20th cen- 
tury have tried to make a case for 
an author other than Solomon, but 

my opinion is that they are trying 
to appear intellectual without mak- 
ing much of a case. This sometimes 
happens in other fields of study, too. 
For example, some 20th-century 
composers have written notes on a 
score that purports to be "music." 
But that's another subject. 

We can look at II Chronicles to 
get some idea of the kind of man 
Solomon was. When God asked him 
what he most desired, Solomon 
asked for wisdom. So God told him, 
"Since this is your heart's desire . . . 
therefore wisdom and knowledge 
will be given you. And I will also 
give you wealth, riches and honor, 
such as no king who was before 
you ever had and none after you 
will have" (2 Chron. 1:11-12*). 

Now I assume that when God 
says that a person will have more 
of something than anyone before 
or after that person will ever have 
that He means it. Therefore, this 
book was written by the wisest man 
ever to live on this earth! 

It is difficult to do Ecclesiastes 
justice in a short article. It is one 
of those books that really must be 
read in its entirety, in one sitting. 
Many verses have been taken out 
of context and misunderstood over 
the ages, such as the references to 
eating and drinking and enjoying 
oneself. Each verse must be under- 
stood in the context of the whole 
book, so that Solomon's entire ar- 
gument and conclusion can be fully 
understood. But let's see what we 
can do. 

A search for meaning 

Ecclesiastes tells of Solomon's 
search for meaning in life. He tried 
everything, and he had the re- 
sources to do it right! He tried 
knowledge (1:18); wisdom (under- 
standing) (2:15-17); mirth (sensu- 

* Quotations from the Bible are from the 
New International Version. 

The Brethren Evangelist 

"All that is required of us is that we work diligently for God and 
His kingdom, and He will provide us with everything He wants us 
to have. And that is enough for anyone!" 

ous enjoyment) (1:17, 2:3); labor 
(earthly endeavor) (2:11); acquisi- 
tion of riches (4:7-12); high station 
(social standing) (4:13-16). He tried 
everything, even to excess. His ex- 
ploits are recorded for us in other 
places in the Old Testament. He 
left nothing to chance! What did he 

I have seen a grievous evil under 
the sun: 

wealth hoarded to the harm of 
its owner, 
or wealth lost through some 
so that when he has a son 
there is nothing left for him. 
Naked a man comes from his 
mother's womb, 
and as he comes, so he departs. 
He takes nothing from his labor 
that he can carry in his hand. 

This too is a grievous evil: 

As a man comes, so he departs, 
and what does he gain, 
since he toils for the wind? 

All his days he eats in darkness, 
with great frustration, affliction 
and anger. 

Then I realized that it is good and 
proper for a man to eat and drink, 
and to find satisfaction in his toil- 
some labor under the sun during 
the few days of life God has given 
him — for this is his lot. Moreover, 
when God gives any man wealth 
and possessions, and enables 
him to enjoy them, to accept 
his lot and be happy in his 
work — this is a gift of God. He 
seldom reflects on the days of 
his life, because God keeps him 
occupied with gladness of heart. 
Ecc. 5:13-20, emphasis added 

I believe that this gift to which 
Solomon refers is the gift of not be- 
ing worried about tomorrow or of 
living in the past (whether mem- 
ories of the past are good or bad), 
but of being content with whatever 
God gives us. All that is required 
of us is that we work diligently for 
God and His kingdom, and He will 

March 1995 

provide us with everything He wants 
us to have. And that is enough for 

One of my favorite hymns since 
childhood has been "Trust and 
Obey." I can remember singing it 
while seated beside my grandfather 
on Sunday nights in the Smithville 
Brethren Church. I have adopted 
it as my life's theme song: 

". . . for there's no other way 
To be happy in Jesus, 
But to trust and obey. 

Learning to be content 

Paul came to the same conclu- 
sion that Solomon reached, al- 
though he had the advantage of 
knowing the personal Savior and 
he therefore worded it somewhat 
differently. In fact, educated man 
that he was even before coming 
face to face with the Lord, Paul, I 
am sure, had read Ecclesiastes. 
While in prison he wrote, "... J 
have learned to be content whatever 
the circumstances" (Phil 4:11). And 
his circumstances were a lot worse 
than any of ours are today. 

Notice that Paul did not say that 
he was happy about his circum- 
stances, but that he had learned 
to be content in his circumstances. 
Many times in our world today we 
confuse these two ideas, being 
happy and being content. 

Then in Colossians, Paul gives 
us this advice: 

Therefore, as God's chosen peo- 
ple, holy and dearly loved, clothe 
yourselves with compassion, kind- 
ness, humility, gentleness and pa- 
tience. Bear with each other and 
forgive whatever grievances you 
may have against one another. 
Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 
And over all these virtues put on 
love, which binds them all together 
in perfect unity. 

Let the peace of Christ rule in 
your hearts, since as members of 
one body you were called to peace. 
And be thankful. Let the word of 

Christ dwell in you richly as you 
teach and admonish one another 
with all wisdom, and as you sing 
psalms, hymns and spiritual songs 
with gratitude in your hearts to 
God. And whatever you do, 
whether in word or deed, do it 
all in the name of the Lord 
Jesus, giving thanks to God the 
Father through him. 

Col. 3:12-17, emphasis added 

To summarize all that I have 
been trying to say, I would like to 
quote the concluding paragraph 
from Ecclesiastes, Total Life, by 
Walter C. Kaiser as he talks about 
this passage from Ecclesiastes: 

Man must get enjoyment, not 
possessions. And that capacity to 
enjoy, no matter how great or how 
small, is a gift from God. It is 
much better to receive wealth as a 
gift from God, along with the God- 
given ability to enjoy it, than to see 
wealth as an end in itself. The con- 
dition for this gift is the same as in 
2:26. [To the man who pleases him, 
God gives wisdom, knowledge and 
happiness, but to the sinner he gives 
the task of gathering and storing 
up wealth to hand it over to the one 
who pleases God. This too is mean- 
ingless, a chasing after the wind.] 
How sad that we can spend all our 
days working and sweating to re- 
ceive the enjoyment that God of- 
fers as a gift if we will seek it in a 
manner that He, in His excellent 
and beautiful plan, has chosen to 
give it. Happiness, enjoyment, pleas- 
ure, and a knowledge of how the 
whole substance of life is integrated 
into a meaningful pattern in the 
plan of God are all linked in the 
living God. To know the "eternity" 
of all things is, if we may rephrase 
John 17:3,* "to know Him." 

Thus the title I chose for this ar- 
ticle: "Work Hard, and Rejoice!" How 
is this possible? By recognizing that 
God has given us His gifts. [D 1 ] 

'"Now this is eternal life: that they may 
know you, the only true God, and Jesus 
Christ, whom you have sent." 

Taking Steps 


Racial Reconciliation 

By Mary Ellen Drushal 

WHEN the American Disabili- 
ties Act (ADA) of 1990 was 
passed by Congress, Christians in 
churches across the country were 
distressed because it meant they 
would have to invest thousands of 
dollars in property renovations to 
accommodate disabled persons. 
Some objected, "We don't even have 
any physically challenged people 
in our church. Why should we be 
required by law to build ramps, 
make restroom doors wide enough 
for wheelchairs, and enable people 
to gain access to all levels of the 

One thing that amazes me is that 
it takes an act of Congress to push 
Christians to care enough about the 
physical and emotional challenges 
some people live with daily in or- 
der for them to make their facili- 
ties accessible to those people. Dis- 
abled people need worship and 
fellowship too! Prior to ADA, most 
churches believed that they did not 
have disabled people. And they 
were right. The disabled couldn't 
get in! They had to watch worship 
services on television or listen to 
them on radio because access to 
church buildings was not possible. 

The Bible says "all" 

Scripture says, "So God created 
humankind in his image, in the im- 
age of God he created them; male 
and female he created them" (Gen. 
1:27*). Later it says, "Do not be 
afraid; for see — I am bringing you 

'Quotations from the Bible are from the 
New Revised Standard Version. 

Dr. Drushal is Academic Dean at 
Ashland Theological Seminary and a 
member of the University Church in 
Ashland, Ohio. 

good news of great 
all the people . . ." 
2:10, emphasis added) 

God created every 
And the angels proclaimed that 
the birth of Jesus was good news 
for all the people. This means that 
each of us originated from God. All 
our physical attributes and any in- 
firmities also come from God. The 
announcement of Jesus' birth did 
not come only to able-bodied peo- 
ple; it was given to all. Why God 
gives physical or mental prowess to 
one person and not to another, I do 
not know. What I am certain of, 
however, is that God loves each per- 
son unconditionally no matter what 
the physical or mental condition of 
that person is. 

God loves all 

God also loves Asian, Black, His- 
panic, White, and all other broth- 
ers and sisters unconditionally. Why 
did God create so many shades of 
skin color, shapes of eyes, and tex- 
tures of hair? Who knows? Only 
God. The fact is, we live in a world 
that is racially and culturally di- 

Once again our Congress had to 
intervene with legislation to cause 
us to treat one another with justice 
and equality. One would think that 
Christians would automatically treat 
others with respect, because Christ 
said, This is my commandment, that 
you love one another as I have loved 
you" (John 15:12). He didn't com- 
mand Whites to love only Whites 
and Blacks to love only Blacks; or 
Asians just to love Asians and His- 
panics just to love Hispanics. He 
commands us to love one another re- 
gardless of the race or culture of 
the "other." 

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 has 
been in place far longer than the 
American Disabilities Act, and yet 
racism still exists in this country. 
On January 6 and 7 of this year, I 
attended a conference in Chicago 
on race reconciliation, sponsored by 
the National Association of Evan- 
gelicals (NAE) and the National 
Black Association of Evangelicals 
(NBAE).* My eyes were opened to 
ways racism pervades our society. 

The 180 participants came from 
across the country. For two days 
we sat at tables of ten, eating to- 
gether and talking about barriers 
to racial reconciliation and what 
evangelical churches could do to re- 
move those barriers. 

Have you ever walked into a con- 
venience store just before closing 
time and not been served because 
the cashier was afraid of you? Have 
other children ever called your kids 
names which they didn't even un- 
derstand, but which they neverthe- 
less knew were not positive? Have 
you ever had to wait longer than 
anyone else in a restaurant to be 
served because your skin color was 
different from that of the other cus- 

In each situation above, one per- 

*See "Convocation of Evangelical Leaders 
Discusses Racial Issues and Steps Toward 
Reconciliation" on page 19 of the February 
EVANGELIST. Also attending the convocation 
from The Brethren Church were Rev. David 
Cooksey (Director of Pastoral Ministries) 
and Mr. Daryl Freeman (moderator of the 
Southeast Christian Fellowship [Brethren 
Church] of Washington, D.C.). 

The Brethren Evangelist 

"Respect, dignity, compassion, and understanding are all attributes 
that emerge when we get to know one another. There is no substitute 
for time spent together to accomplish the goal of racial reconciliation." 

son is telling another, "You don't 
measure up to the standard." Whose 
standard? God's standard? Or that 
established by those who are "in 
charge" by self-imposed edict? 

At the Chicago conference, we dis- 
cussed a host of barriers to racial 
reconciliation, including fear; an un- 
biblical theology; lack of care, com- 
passion, and communication; a need 
for repentance and forgiveness; 
poor attitudes and perceptions 
among people; and finally, institu- 
tional racism. 

Becoming part of the solution 

As Christians saved by God's un- 
limited grace, if we aren't part of 
the solution, we're part of the prob- 
lem. This conference made me more 
aware of my role in the problem of 
racism. With God as my witness, I 
declare that I want to become part 
of the solution. 

Sometimes acts of racism are 
blatant and intentional. Other times 
they are subtle and unintentional, 
and people don't even think twice 
about what they have said or done. 
Often we can be self-centered, giv- 
ing little consideration to those 
around us unless they are family 
members, friends, or members of 
our church. 

"More things make us alike 
than make us different; and 
— especially among Chris- 
tians — more draws us to- 
gether than separates us. " 

Even the evangelism methods of 
the church-growth movement — 
seeking to reach those who are 
most like ourselves — have contrib- 
uted to the homogeneity of our con- 
gregations. Just as Joseph's coat of 
many colors was a sign of favor from 
his father, God must view with great 
delight a congregation made up of 
people of different races and cul- 
tures with various colors of skin. 

The Chicago conference on race 
reconciliation caused me to reflect 
on and appreciate the contributions 
that 162 African-American students 

March 1995 

and 50 international students bring 
to the Ashland Theological Sem- 
inary community and to my own 
cultural awareness. Our worship 
styles, our native attire, our music, 
and our expectations and interpre- 
tations of practically everything 
are different. But what a wonder- 
ful mosaic of God's message these 
differences provide! 

That is not to say that accommo- 
dating or integrating all these dif- 
ferences is an easy task. But it is 
one that God calls us to do because 
He expects us to love Him with all 
our heart, soul, mind, and strength; 
and our neighbor as ourselves 
(Mark 12:30-31). To love others 
as we love ourselves, whether those 
others live on the other side of town 
or in another country, forces us as 
Christians to be obedient to the 
mandates of Scripture. 

Respect, dignity, compassion, and 
understanding are all attributes 
that emerge when we get to know 
one another. There is no substitute 
for time spent together to accom- 
plish the goal of racial reconcilia- 
tion. I am aware that there are a 
number of Scripture passages that 
are quoted to support avoiding rac- 
ial reconciliation. But if the entire 
message of God's word is reconcili- 
ation, how can we continue to es- 
pouse an unbiblical message? 

We all want the same things 

As our group in Chicago dialogued 
at the table, we learned that we all 
love and worship God; we all want 
educational opportunities for our- 
selves and our children; we all are 
concerned about health issues for 
our families; and we all want the 
opportunity to become all God in- 
tends us to be. More things make 
us alike than make us different; 
and — especially among Christians 
— more draws us together than sep- 
arates us. 

What we need are opportunities 
to work together on one common 
project or toward a mutual goal. One 
such opportunity will be available 
this June. The Leadership Devel- 
opment Commission of The Breth- 

ren Church is sponsoring an Urban 
Immersion Experience June 17-24 
in Washington, D.C. We will work 
together during the day with vari- 
ous groups who minister in the 
Black community. Then during the 
evening, leadership training ses- 
sions will be conducted with com- 
mittees in the church. 

"What we need are opportu- 
nities to work together on 
one common project or to- 
ward a mutual goat " 

You are invited to learn to know 
the Brethren who live in Washing- 
ton. Join us as we eat, talk, and 
live together for a week. (Contact 
Deb Ritchey at the National Office — 
419-289-1708— if you are interested.) 

A first step for Brethren 

I believe God intends for us to 
work together as one to begin ra- 
cial reconciliation in this small but 
meaningful way. The recent meet- 
ing in Chicago reminded me that 
we need to take steps toward un- 
derstanding one another. This ad- 
ditional opportunity for ministry to- 
gether in Washington, D.C, is an 
important first step for Brethren. 

The work toward racial reconcili- 
ation has begun, and the NAE and 
NBAE have led the way. While 
bringing 180 people together to 
talk is one thing, doing something 
concrete and tangible that can re- 
sult in strengthening relationships 
is another. Talk is cheap; action is 
what counts! 

This spring, a group of 35 of us 
will reconvene in Chicago to begin 
that process of planning to imple- 
ment the ideas of the previous meet- 
ing. Please pray for us and the 
work before us, that all we do may 
matter, not only in the kingdom to 
come, but in this present day and 
with those most affected by racism 
— which is every one of us. 

Jesus said to all His disciples, 
"Come and see" and "Follow me." 
May we also follow His command to 
love others as we love ourselves, [ft] 

Devoted to Growth Through Worship 

By Richard E. Allison 

The third in a series of four articles on Acts 2:42, 
the 1995 General Conference theme verse. 

They devoted themselves to the 
apostles' teaching and to the fellow- 
ship, to the breaking of bread and 
to prayer. Acts 2:42 (NIV) 

early church is normative for 
us today. This means that we must 
attempt to restore to our churches 
the essential elements of early 
church life and practice. This does 
not mean that we recreate the first- 
century church. Rather, we seek to 
inquire after the underlying princi- 
ples for the early church's action. 

The next question is how these 
principles can find expression at the 
end of the 20th century and the be- 
gining of the 21st century. After all, 
this is not the first century, and to 
convey the same principle in our 
day may require a different action. 

A part of the Pentecost event (re- 
corded in Acts 2) was the coming 
to Christ of 3,000 persons. How is 
such a multitude to be assimilated 
into a church of 120 members (cf. 
Acts 1:15)? The principles are found 
in Acts 2:42^47. Here we are in- 
formed how the 120 went about as- 
similating the 3,000 (Acts 2:41). 

A devoted church 

Occurring in an emphatic posi- 
tion in Acts 2:42 is the word de- 
voted. The same Greek word is found 
in verse 46, where it is translated 
in the New International Version 
as continued. This word occurs ten 
times in the New Testament, and 
it means to continue steadfastly. It's 
found in Acts 1:14, where it identi- 
fies the kind of prayer practiced by 
the 120; and in Acts 6:4, where it 
refers to the kind of attention that 

Dr. Allison, professor of Christian 
Education at Ashland Theolgocial 
Seminary, is the current General Con- 
ference moderator-elect for The Breth- 
ren Church. 

the Twelve gave to prayer and to 
study of the word. It is apparent 
that devoted is a very strong word. 

Now on what did the early church 
focus in this period of rapid growth? 
The writer tells us that first of all 
these believers "continued stead- 
fastly" in the apostles' teaching. 
The new converts needed to under- 
stand the scriptures in a new way. 
They had gathered in Jerusalem for 
the celebration of one of the three 
Jewish pilgrimage festivals, Pente- 
cost (Acts 2:1; cf. Leviticus 23:14-17 
and Deuteronomy 16:9-12). Jewish 
in their understanding of the scrip- 
tures, these believers now become 
disciples (Acts 11:26). 

Just as the apostles had been in- 
structed by Jesus, so they now pass 
along that instruction to these new 
Christians. This certainly would 
have included reminiscences of 
Jesus' life and ministry, accounts 
of the resurrection, and interpreta- 
tion of Old Testament scriptures. 

It is interesting that the first 
emphasis in the growing church is 
not on moving from one dynamic 
outburst to another, as though Chris- 
tians are to experience Pentecost 
every week. Rather, the early church 
moves immediately to the task of 
teaching. It kept itself straight about 
what it is and what it is to do. 

Second, these early believers de- 
voted themselves to fellowship. 
Fellowship (koinonia) doesn't hap- 
pen naturally. It happens when we 
expend as much energy in assist- 
ing it to happen as we expend as- 
sisting the teaching ministry. 

In the early church, fellowship 
was fostered by a close relation- 
ship (praying, worshiping, and eat- 
ing together) and by caring for 
each other's needs (mutual aid, 
Acts 2:44, 45). The result of expend- 
ing this kind of effort for fellow- 
ship was the "one accord" men- 
tioned in the book of Acts (1:14; 5:12). 

The "breaking of bread" 

Third, there was the "breaking of 
bread." Scholars disagree on how 
to interpret this phrase. Some see 
it as a meal eaten as an initiating 
rite. Others see it as a Jewish fel- 
lowship meal (Haburah, celebrated 
by the Pharisees). Others claim it 
is a paschal commemoration. Some 
believe it emphasized the joy of 
communion with the risen Jesus. 

A positive determination is diffi- 
cult. This is because Luke uses 
"breaking bread" in different ways. 
Sometimes it refers to an ordinary 
meal, as in Luke 24:30, 35; Acts 
20:11; 27:35. In other places it re- 
fers to the Lord's Supper, as in Luke 
22:19; Acts 20:7. 

It is difficult to believe that Luke 
had in mind an ordinary meal in 
Acts 2:42. First, it seems unlikely 
that "breaking of bread," meaning 
an ordinary meal, would be placed 
between two such religious acts as 
fellowship and prayers. Luke was 
not concerned with how they initi- 
ated their meals in this instance. 
Thus it appears that "breaking of 
bread" in Acts 2:42 refers to the 
Lord's Supper. Second, a hearty meal 
is mentioned later for comparison 
in verse 46, where it says that they 
"ate together" in their homes. 

The "breaking of bread" carries 
with it the joy and love connected 
with being in the presence of Jesus, 
as in the Upper Room. Thus it is 
likely that in this text the phrase 
is an early name for the Lord's 
Supper. The suffering and death of 
Christ is surely here, if only in early 
symbol. Paul later fully develops 
this thought. This is the view sup- 
ported by I. Howard Marshal, F.F. 
Bruce, Richard Longenecker, Light- 
foot, and Jeremias. 

It is Jeremias who suggests that 
Acts 2:42 presents a very early or- 
der for worship. First, there is the 

The Brethren Evangelist 

service of the word, which includes 
the teaching and the fellowship. 
Second, there is the service of the 
table, the "breaking of bread"; or 
the Lord's Supper and the prayers. 
This view is supported by Pliny, gov- 
ernor of Bithyrmia, in the second 
century, the Didache, and Justin 
Martyr. Thus it becomes apparent 
that early Christian worship can be 
described as synagogue plus supper. 

The synagogue probably devel- 
oped when Israel was in exile. In 
the synagogue, the word was cen- 
tral, with the books of Moses ar- 
ranged in a lection reading. Also, 
extended prayers preceded the read- 
ing of the books of Moses, and the 
homily or explanation followed. 
This order is seen in Luke 4:16-28 
and in Acts 13:15-41. 

Pursuing this view of Jeremias, 
however, takes us in another direc- 
tion and beyond the intended focus 
of this article. It implies that the 
table needs to be observed at each 
regular gathering of the community 
of faith. In addition, one is led to 
conclude that the Lord's Supper is 
not a solemn time for introspection 
and contemplation. Rather, it is to 
be a time of celebration, joy, love, 
and praise, for it anticipates the 
Great Feast of Revelation 19. 

The Conference theme for 1995 

is "Devoted Churches . . . Grow" 
(through worship). The "breaking of 
bread" focuses our attention on 
worship. Kenon Callahan, through 
his research, has discovered that 
effective congregations have "cor- 
porate, dynamic worship." He re- 
ports that today unchurched per- 
sons usually find their way first to 
the worship service of a congrega- 
tion. They are looking for a sense 
of belonging. They want an atmos- 
phere where there is a strong sense 
of togetherness. 

In addition, the liturgy needs to 
stir and inspire. Those who partici- 
pate in the worship need to express 
this. Gimmicks are not effective. 
Outsiders want to experience a dy- 
namic gospel that projects a mes- 
sage of help and hope. 

Essentials for dynamic worship 

Callahan identifies five character- 
istics that are essential for corpo- 
rate, dynamic worship: 

(1) The first is warmth and win- 
someness. Key words that describe 
the congregation in worship are 
grace, love, community, fellowship, 
sharing, help, hope. 

(2) Since music constitutes forty 
percent of the service, it should be 
inspirational. This calls for plan- 
ning, spontaneity, balance, variety, 

quality, and depth. 

(3) Quality preaching, which re- 
members that the gospel is good 
news, is vitally important. Sermons 
must be easy to follow — they have 
to make sense. Struggle and drama 
need to be included as well. A def- 
inite relationship should be appar- 
ent between the biblical text and 
contemporary life. Congregations 
need to receive help and hope in 
the midst of pain, suffering, and in- 

(4) The liturgy needs to express 
a sense of progression and move- 
ment. The movement is toward mis- 

(5) The environment, from the 
perspective of the worshiper, is to 
be comfortable. It is neither un- 
comfortably crowded nor uncom- 
fortably empty. 

Callahan reports that there is a 
direct correlation between worship 
attendance, growth, and income. 
Therefore it behooves us to spend 
as much time on worship planning 
as on sermon preparation. This 
means identifying a theme for each 
service, coordinating the music re- 
sources and preaching good news. 

Devoted churches grow through 
worship when they take Bible study 
seriously and are open to the needs 
of contemporary persons. [ft] 

Looking for Love 

By Ron Hutchcraft 

EVERY CHILD, no matter how old, 
is asking for love. Meeting that 
need is one of a parent's most life- 
shaping assignments. A love-hole in a 
human heart, left unfilled by a mom or 
dad, is a blueprint for heartbreak — for 
both the parent and the child. There is 
a need for "feelable" love that only a 
mother and father can meet. Almost 
certainly, it will require sacrifice to 
love a child in his or her language, but 
nothing approaching the sacrifice of a 
son or daughter who gets lost looking 
for love — a love that child should have 
found at home. 

This article is from the book 5 
Needs Your Child Must Have Met 
at Home by Ron Hutchcraft (Zonder- 
vanPublishingHouse, 1995) and was 
provided by the publisher. 

If you, as a parent, should find that 
you are not enough to meet all your 
child's needs for love, you may want 
to go where I have often been driven 
— to your knees. For in the uncondi- 
tional, unlimited love of God in Jesus 
Christ, a parent can meet his or her 
own deep love hunger, and find more 
than enough to fill a child's heart, too. 

In 1976 Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme 
exploded onto every front page in 
America. She had pushed her way 
through a crowd and had tried to kill 
the President of the United States. She 
was seventeen years old. 

Investigators found her proud that she 
was a follower of Charles Manson. The 
world knows Manson as a crazed kill- 
er who worked through his small, ded- 
icated band of fanatical "disciples." 

News magazines began to dig into 

the background of this tragic young 
woman. Their reporters found that 
Squeaky had felt like a misfit in her 
town, and so she wandered across the 
country until she reached California. 
There Charles Manson met her and 
promised to take care of her. She went 
with him and was willing to kill and 
die for him. 

Reporters wanted to know, "Why 
would you give your life to a man like 
Manson?" I read her explanation in a 
magazine, and I have never been able 
to forget it. Squeaky explained that 
she had made a choice early in her 
teenage years. Here it is: "Whoever 
loves me first can have my life." 

Someone probably had loved Squeaky, 
but she was ready to give her life to 
whomever made her feel loved first. 

There are a lot of Squeakys, male 
and female. Whoever makes them feel 
loved first can have their lives. 

For your son or daughter, be sure 
that person is you. [ r] 

March 1995 

the Bible 

by the Committee on Doctrine, 
Research, and Publication was to 
discuss the doctrine of universal 
restoration as held by Alexander 
Mack. In answer to this request, 
I will begin by describing Mack's 
position and then provide some 
historical background and a bibli- 
cal response to the concept. 

Mack's View of 
Universal Restoration 

Mack set forth his view of univer- 
sal restoration in Rights and Ordi- 
nances, written in 1715: 

According to the testimony of the 
Holy Scriptures, "the smoke of 
their torment goes up forever and 
ever" (Revelation 14:11). However, 
that [their torment] should last for 
eternity is not supported by Holy 
Scriptures. It is not necessary to 
talk much about it or speculate 
about it. The joyous blessedness is 
definitely forfeited by their folly. 
Even if at some time the torment 
should end after long eternities, 
they will never attain that which 
the believers have achieved in the 
time of grace through Jesus Christ 
if they obey Him. Many who have 
heard about universal restoration 
commit the great folly not to deny 
themselves completely but rather 
hope for the restoration. This hope 
will most certainly come to naught 
when they enter the torment, and 
can see no end to it. Their pitiful 
comfort will vanish like smoke. 

. . . Therefore, that is a much 
better and more blessed gospel 
which teaches how to escape the 

Dr. Stoffer is assistant professor of 
historical theology at Ashland Theologi- 
cal Seminary. He serves on The Breth- 
ren Church's Committee on Doctrine, 
Research, and Publication, which is 
preparing this series of articles. 


The Early Brethren 

Concept of 
Universal Restoration 

By Dale R. Stoffer 

wrath of God than the gospel 
which teaches that eternal punish- 
ment has an end. Even though this 
is true, it should not be preached 
as a gospel to the godless. 

The doctrine, as held by Mack and 
others in his time, is based on the 
conviction that God's love would 
ultimately reach all people. It was 
commonly held by universal restora- 
tionists that even the devil and 
fallen angels would eventually be 
restored to fellowship with God. This 
concept, however, should not be 
identified with universalism as it is 
customarily defined. Mack held that 
unbelievers would face divine judg- 
ment and punishment. But he dis- 
tinguishes between a punishment 
that is everlasting and one that is 
Zong'-lasting, rejecting the former 
and upholding the latter. 

Several other points should be 
made about Mack's presentation of 
the doctrine. He views the doctrine 
as a "private opinion" (see "Our Breth- 
ren Spiritual Inheritance" in last 
month's Evangelist) that should not 
be widely publicized, especially 
among unbelievers. Likewise, he 
warns against the false security of 
those who foolishly decide not to 
follow Christ, trusting in their even- 
tual restoration. Not only will these 
people not attain the same spiritual 
status as true disciples of Christ, but 
their hope will be of little comfort 
during their time of torment. 

Historical Background 
to the Doctrine 

The doctrine of universal restora- 
tion has ancient roots, deriving 
from the speculations of the third- 
Alexander Mack, Rights and Ordi- 
nances, in The Complete Writings of Alex- 
ander Mack, ed. William R. Eberly (Winona 
Lake, Ind.: BMH Books, 1991), 98-99. 

century theologian Origin and, a 
century later, of Gregory of Nyssa. 
During the following centuries, the 
doctrine was upheld by many who 
took a more mystical and specula- 
tive approach to theology, including 
a few Anabaptists. 

The more immediate source for 
the Brethren, however, was Rad- 
ical Pietism. This more mystical 
and spiritualist form of Pietism was 
indebted to the German spiritualist 
Jacob Boehme (1575-1624) for some 
of its most radical ideas. Boehme, 
though not apparently holding the 
doctrine of universal restoration him- 
self, had, nonetheless, placed great 
stress upon God's love. 

This theme was transmitted to Eng- 
lish followers of Boehme, notably a 
group called the Philadelphians, who 
by 1693 were teaching universal res- 
toration. They, in turn, influenced 
certain German Pietists and espe- 
cially Radical Pietists, among whom 
was Ernst Christoph Hochmann 
von Hochenau, the Radical Pietist 
preacher who "awakened" many of 
the early Brethren to a deeper ex- 
perience of Christian faith. Presum- 
ably Mack picked up his views on 
universal restoration through his 
association with Hochmann. 

Many Brethren continued to hold 
to universal restoration throughout 
the eighteenth and nineteenth cen- 
turies. An intriguing historical foot- 
note is that a Brethren minister, 
John S. Price, in 1753 translated into 
English a book on universal restora- 
tion written by a German pastor, 
George Klein-Nicolai. It was this book 
that was instrumental in convert- 
ing Elhanan Winchester to restora- 
tionism. Winchester, in turn, was an 
important figure in the origins of the 
Universalist movement in America. 
(Com. after the Outlook Newsletter pages) 

The Brethren Evangelist 

OLpublicatiotv tftke fyetkrcn, Hitman's Missionary Society 

March-April 1995 

Volume 8, Number 4 

ike presidents ^m 

Dear Ladies, 

Well, here we are three months into 
1995. How quickly this past year has 
gone. By the time you read this, my 
husband, Jim, will have been to India 
and Malaysia and returned home. 
Reilly Smith, Jim's successor, went with 
Jim on this trip. He was introduced to 
the people in India and Malaysia. 
They participated in the celebration of 
the 25th anniversary of the India Mis- 
sion work. They also visited with the 
David Loi and the David Chew fami- 
lies. Look for a report on their visit in 
a future Evangelist. 

I was re-reading a book entitled 
Make Warm Noises by Gloria Gaither. 
She tells of a time when she and her 
husband, Bill, and their young daugh- 
ter were in North Carolina for an eve- 
ning concert of gospel music. They 
arrived at the church before the pas- 
tor, and the church was dark and the 
heat had not yet been turned up. Their 
daughter ran ahead in search of the 
sanctuary. She opened the doors wide 
and rushed a few steps into the dark 
auditorium, stopped, wrapped her lit- 
tle arms around herself, then called at 
the top of her voice, "Daddy! Turn the 
church on!" 

Gloria goes on to say, 'The church 
today has more facilities with which to 
work than at any other time in history. 
We have better buildings, fantastic 
tools of mass communication, and the 
power of united effort with other 
churches. Yet, with all this, there must 
be the warmth of the personal touch, 
the undercurrent of sincere concern, 
the gentleness of genuine love. 

'Those who come to us must find not 
only the fixtures, but the 'Presence.' 
Behind the strong, oaken doors of the 
church, the needy must find a real 
strength that can make a difference in 
their lives. If the church is to be a tool 
that God can use in this century, it is 
we who have met Him face to face who 
must 'turn the church on.' " 

These words were written in 1971, 
(continued on page 3) 


A devotional letter from Sharon Winter 

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, 

"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, 

plans to give you hope and a future." 

Jeremiah 29:11 (AT7V) 

Dear Ladies, 

For several months I have thought I 
should send a greeting and share what 
God has been doing in our lives. 

In August 1992, Bill and I saw a re- 
quest in the Prayer and Praise bulletin 
for couples who might go as tentmak- 
ers to the Denver area. And, as we had 
done a number of times over the years 
when we saw notes about the needs of 
the Brethren in the U.S., we com- 
mented that it might be a neat place to 
go and serve. Well, the other times we 
had said it, once the words were spo- 
ken, the idea was over and done with. 
But this time the thought would not 
go away, and we began to pray that, if 
it were not God speaking, He take the 
thought away. Instead, over a period of 
three or four months, the thought be- 
came stronger and stronger, and we 
began to understand that God was ask- 
ing us to leave Argentina and follow 
Him into a new area of ministry. We 
began communicating with Missionary 
Board personnel about our feelings 
and the continual circumstances that 
made us absolutely sure that this was 
what God was asking of us. 

To make a long story short, when 
we left Argentina on July 8, 1993, we 
felt a lot like Abraham must have felt. 
All God had revealed to us at that 
point was that we were to leave Argen- 
tina at that time and come to Denver, 

We arrived here on Sunday morn- 
ing, August 29, 1993, pulling a travel 
trailer, which was to be our home for 
the next four months. (We knew we 
couldn't rent or buy a place to live in 
because we didn't have jobs.) We found 
a Baptist church to attend that morn- 
ing and, in the very first family we met 
in Denver, the husband was a mission- 
ary kid who had grown up in northern 
Argentina. He graduated from the 

same school from which Todd and Heidi 
graduated and where I taught for sev- 
eral years. We had mutual friends! 
This family directed us to a camp- 
ground where we parked for a couple 
days, until we found a mobile home 
park that accepted smaller trailers on 
a monthly basis. 

Once we were settled in, we began 
our search for jobs and getting ac- 
quainted with the city. Kay Albrecht 
Burgi and her husband, Phil, were a 
big help to us during that period of time. 
Within about six weeks, we both had 
found jobs that would pay bills and keep 
food on the table regularly. I didn't yet 
have a Colorado Teaching Certificate, 
so could not teach in public schools. 

We had been visiting a variety of 
churches in the area, and about mid- 
October decided to attend Riverside 
Baptist Church. They have a Hispanic 
group, so we attended Sunday school 
in Spanish and alternated between the 
English and Spanish worship services. 
From the first Sunday we attended 
there until Christmas 1993, every ser- 
mon the pastor preached spoke di- 
rectly to us. It either confirmed that 
we were right where God wanted us to 
be at that moment, or dealt with a spe- 
cific situation we were facing. Every 
Sunday, we looked at each other in 
amazement at what we were hearing. 

Once we had employment, we began 
looking at housing possibilities, though 
not very seriously, since we were both 
on entry-level wages. In mid-Novem- 
ber, I found a little house that looked 
interesting. Bill drove by it a few days 
later and we contacted the realtor for 
a viewing. It was to be listed for an 
open house the following Sunday after- 
noon. We checked the paper, but found 
no listing, but we drove out to see it 
anyway. No one else had shown up! 

We explained our situation to the 
(continued on page 4) 

^District Qoinfji 


Marie Fanning, the Southwest Dis- 
trict president, reported the activities 
of the Tucson societies. In addition to 
their regular activities (meals for sick 
families, missionary correspondence, 
support for the church camp and the 
Community Food Bank), both groups 
made donations to help pay for the new 
roof on the sanctuary. The Evening 
group supports an orphan in India and 
the Faith, Hope, Charity group sup- 
ports a missionary pastor in India. 

The District Rally was January 14. 
A potluck salad luncheon was served 
at noon. Marie gave devotions, relating 
Psalm 46 to the New Year and trust- 
ing God for His guidance and provi- 
sion. An ensemble sang "Broken Pieces." 

Mrs. Marilyn Henry, the guest speak- 
er, used the theme "Earthquakes and 
Aftershocks in Life." As the daughter 
of a U.S. serviceman, she lived in many 
places around the world. Her family 
lived in Germany when she graduated 
from high school. Marilyn persuaded 
her parents to allow her to return to 
the States to attend college in Ohio, 
where her older sister lived. And, al- 
though she was reared in a home with 
love and security, she drifted away from 
church into ways of the world. Two years 
later, when her parents returned to 
the States, she moved to California to 
finish college. 

Through her marriage to one who 
was not a Christian and many difficult 
circumstances (a man posing to be a 
friend who threatened her life and 
raped her, and her parents' divorce af- 
ter 32 years of marriage), she realized 
she needed God. Marilyn began read- 
ing her Bible and attending church. In 
time, her husband attended with her 
and asked the pastor many questions 
concerning salvation. After three hours, 
he received Christ! 

Marilyn began teaching little chil- 
dren in a Christian school, teaching 
Bible stories from Genesis through 
Revelation for three years. This study 
helped her draw close to God. Her life 
and her husband's life are completely 
changed; they and their three sons live 
committed Christian lives and are very 
active in a Tucson church. Marilyn 
also works in Stonecroft Ministries. 


DeAnn Oburn, the Ohio District sec- 
retary, reported that the fall retreat 
was at beautiful Camp Bethany on Oc- 
tober 14-15, 1994. Thirty-five women, 
representing ten WMS societies, came 
together for a time of relaxation and a 
look at a portion of God's Word. Again 
this year, our meals were lovingly 
planned, prepared, and served by 
Frank and Janet Hoffman of the Ash- 
land Park Street Church. 

As we gathered Friday evening, 
April Lowmaster of North Georgetown 
sang several of her own compositions 
and led us in singing together. Matha 
Schleinitz drew us together in our first 
study session. 

Matha (not Martha), our speaker and 
discussion leader, hails from Pleasant 
Hill. She is a wife, the mother of a son 
and daughter, and Associate Professor 
of Human Services at Edison State Com- 
munity College. Matha and her family 
are active members of the Salem Church 
of God in Clayton, Ohio. 

Our topic of study was "Lives of Loy- 
alty" and centered on Scriptures re- 
garding Hannah and Ruth. Matha posed 
these questions to us for consideration: 
"Do I really believe and live out the 
fact that I have been bought with a 
price, and I am not my own?" and "Do 
my choices and decisions reflect my 
commitment to Christ?" 

Each of our sessions with Matha 
was followed by some time in small 
groups for discussion and prayer. We 
discovered that we don't know "loyalty" 
until loyalty is tested. 

Before we left Camp Bethany Satur- 
day, Janet Sayne gave a very inspiring 
vocal concert. Patti Bub, the district pres- 
ident, announced the recipients of the 
Marge Fund: Kelly Hurley of Gretna, 
Carrie Lucas of Ashland Park Street, 
Kristi Paull of Smithville, Lori Robin- 
son of New Lebanon, and Rachel Walk 
of Fremont. The Marge Fund was es- 
tablished in memory of Margery Whit- 
ted, a teacher at Ashland University 
and an encourager and mentor to stu- 
dents. The financial gift is given to 
qualified Brethren girls from the Ohio 
district who attend Ashland University. 


The WMS officers are always con- 
cerned about the total membership of 
the organization. Too often, like the 
fisherman, we worry about those who 
got away! However, Joanne Kroft tal- 
lied the new members from the mem- 
bership lists submitted through mid- 
January, and these societies have gained 
members. The increase is indicated. To 
the new members, we welcome you. 
And to the societies, we give our blue 

Brush Valley +6 

Burlington +2 

Canton Juniorettes +2 

Corinth +1 

Falls City +1 

Flora +1 

Gratis +1 

Gretna Lamplighters +2 

Linwood +1 

Loree I +1 

Loree Charity +1 

Mexico +2 

Meyersdale +1 

Milford +1 

Newark +1 

New Lebanon Eve. +2 

North Georgetown (Mercer) +1 

North Manchester Joy +1 

Raystown +3 

St. James +1 

St. Luke +3 

Valley +1 

Vinco II +2 

General Conference — August 7-11, 1995 


Published bimonthly in January, 
March, May, July, September, and 
November by the Woman's Missionary 
Society of The Brethren Church. 

Mrs. Dorman Ronk, Editor 
1325 Coachman Court 
Ashland, Ohio 44805 

Subscription price, $7.50 per year in 

Send all subscriptions to Mrs. Robert 
Kroft, 608 Twp. Road 1151, RD 5, Ash- 
land, OH 44805. 

Woman's Outlook Newsletter 


u — u — U 

From Daniel and Kathy Rosales: 

Greetings in the name of our Lord 
and Saviour, whom we love and serve. 

In the past year, we have had many 
different experiences in our "Iglesia de 
los Hermanos" in Sarasota. And in all, 
the Lord is victorious. We praise God 
for all those new members. We re- 
ceived 7 by transfer and 10 by conver- 
sion, and the best part is that they 
continue attending and growing. 

Daniel reported they have many op- 
portunities to minister to the families 
of the 1 1 children enrolled in the Day 
Care Center. The message Daniel 
preaches on Sunday is printed in the 
Latin newspaper each week, which is 
distributed to many cities in Florida. 
The radio ministry, "Reflexiones," is 
spreading into South America. In Oc- 
tober, the program was requested by a 
radio station in Chile and in December 
the first two letters from listeners 
there were received. 

Daniel and Kathy request your con- 
tinued prayers. Your cards and letters 
of encouragement as well as your gifts 
are appreciated. 

Doran and Nancy Hostetler wrote 
that the Riverside Alumni Day will be 
October 21, 1995. For the first time 
ever, the Alumni Association plans to 
auction handmade items and crafts to 
help raise money for the Riverside 
Christian School. The Alumni Associa- 
tion is trying to "re-energize" and this 
is one of the things they are doing to 
help Riverside. 

Everyone is invited to send any type 
of craft to the school for their auction. 
Items may be sewed, built, or purchased. 

Send your craft item or household 
utensils to Riverside Christian School, 
Lost Creek, KY 41348, and mark it for 
the Alumni Auction. 

Todd and Tracy Ruggles sent their 
end-of-the-year letter which described 
some of their "down" moments; those 
were far outnumbered by praises and 
blessings. "Rejoice always; pray with- 
out ceasing; in everything give thanks, 

March-April 1995 

for this is God's will for you in Christ 
Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). 

They appreciate the encouragement 
cards and letters, financial support, and 
prayers. Todd said, "I think we often 
underestimate the power of prayer." 

The Missionary Board sent cassette 
tapes of General Conference, which 
were a special blessing to them. Stuck 
in traffic en route to Santa Teresa for 
the Wednesday evening service, they 
listened to Reilly Smith. He was an en- 
courager and a joy. 

Todd and Tracy moved after the Mis- 
sionary calendar was printed. Please 
use their new address: 

Todd and Tracy Ruggles 
Apartado Postal #45 
Admon. Jesus Del Monte 
Huixquillucan, edo. de Mexico 
C.P. 52764 MEXICO 
The Eagles and Ruggles traveled 
again to McAllen, Texas, to renew their 
visas. The Lord went before them; they 
had no problems. The Eagles are look- 
ing for affordable and comfortable hous- 
ing in the Cuajimalpa area of Mexico 

Juan Carlos and Maria Miranda "join 
David, the song writer, and praise God 
because He is our Lord, our heavenly 
Father, who never ever has left us 
alone and has shown us that His mer- 
cies endureth for ever!" 

In 1994 they began publication of 
The International Evangelist, a quar- 
terly Latin American Brethren news 
bulletin, sharing information about the 
Hispanic churches in the USA, news 
from the national church offices, Con- 
ference activities, and reports from the 
mission fields south of the border. 

Maria's radio ministry, Para Ti Mujer 
(For You, My Dear Lady), is broadcast 
five days each week on almost 700 sta- 
tions in 23 countries and supported by 
the Fuller Evangelistic Association in 
Pasadena, California, and The Breth- 
ren Church. This year the Missionary 
Board is promoting and encouraging 
support for the program on a local 
level; it is not supported from the regu- 
lar budget. Faith Promise offerings or 
special contributions may be sent to 
the Missionary Board of the Brethren 
Church, 524 College Avenue, Ashland, 
OH 44805, and designated for Maria's 
radio ministry. The Mirandas request 
that you do not hold your offerings for 
a special presentation; they need your 
support every month. 


Dave and Diane Kerner plan to re- 
tire from active missionary service in 
Colombia this summer and return to 
the States. Their definite plans are still 
indefinite! They covet your prayers. Dave 
broke an ankle this winter, and heal- 
ing was complicated by his diabetes. 

Ken and Carolyn Solomon are squelch- 
ing the rumor that they are retiring 
also! Ken's health is good; they plan to 
remain in Colombia as long as possible. 

The Northwest Brethren Chapel in 
Tucson, pastored by Dave West, and 
Bloomingdale Brethren Church in Val- 
rico, Florida, pastored by Dave Stone, 
became self-supporting January 1. Keep 
these congregations in your prayers as 
they step out in faith. 

The March missionary-of-the-month 
is Allen Baer in Buenos Aires, Argen- 
tina. Allen's home church is Goshen, 
Indiana. In Buenos Aires, Allen is a 
self-employed tutor and carries many 
responsibilities for the Missionary Board 
and the Argentine churches. 

Todd and Princene Bonnett of the 
Walcrest Brethren Church in Mans- 
field and Archie and Connie Nevins of 
the Northview Brethren Life Church 
in Franklin, Ohio, are the April mis- 

The May families are Prasanth and 
Nirmala Kumar in India and David and 
Jenny Loi in Malaysia. 

Emphasis alternates between world 
and home missionaries, encouraging us 
to encircle the globe with our prayers 
and support. Christ came to save the 
world, and our missionary friends 
have followed the Great Commission, 
Go ye and teach. We are thankful for 
the home and national missionaries. 

The President's Pen (continued) 
but they apply to our church today. 
What can we do to "turn our church 
on'? Can we be more caring, more 
friendly, more concerned and helpful 
with others' problems? Let's try to be 
open to what God is wanting us to do. 

Plans are underway for the WMS Con- 
ference in August. We will suggest some 
changes in the Constitution, so please 
look it over and send any suggested 
changes to your District President. 

I would like to have some volunteers 
for the Nominating, Credential, and 
Auditing Committees. If you would like 
to help, please drop me a note soon. I 
look forward to hearing from you. 
God Bless You, 
Shirley Black 

Prayers and Praises (continued) 

realtor (who also had an Argentine 
connection), and, before the week was 
over, we had prequalified for a loan. In 
three weeks, in a very tight housing 
market, we closed on our house. We 
moved in on Christmas Eve 1993 with 
the few belongings we had in the 
trailer. There is NO WAY this could all 
have happened as it did unless God 
was going before us preparing the way. 

When spring arrived, we began prac- 
ticing Bill's favorite sport — garage sal- 
ing! We have managed to furnish our 
home quite reasonably. 

In the meantime, we kept up peri- 
odical communication with the Mid- 
west District Mission Board and asked 
God to show us the next step. It had 
been suggested that we take one year 
to readjust to the U.S. culture, but we 
were getting anxious to know what 
God wanted next. Finally Bill felt he 
was being directed to find a prayer 
partner, and we got in touch with 
Jerry and Darlene Armstrong, for- 
merly from Russ Gordon's congrega- 
tion in Bradenton, Florida. 

The Armstrongs live just a couple 
miles from us and, in May 1994, we 
began meeting once a week to share 
personal prayer concerns and to begin 
praying for the future work of the 
Brethren here in the Northglenn- 
Thornton area. When Reilly Smith 
stopped for a visit about a year ago, he 
shared with us that our home is right 
in the middle of the area where the 
initial survey was done for a possible 
work here. We were unaware of this 
when we bought our home! 

Both of us have changed jobs this 
year, bringing us closer to home with 
better hours, better salaries, and bet- 
ter working conditions. I am putting 
my Spanish to good use teaching a bi- 
lingual first grade in Denver. Bill is 
working in the parts department of a 
trucking wholesaler and also has occa- 
sion to use his Spanish. 

We continue to attend Riverside 
Baptist, participating in the choir min- 
istry and other areas as opportunities 
arise, until God shows us that it is 
time for us to leave and get on with 
His plans for us nearer our home. We 
continue to pray that He show us the 
next step. Jeremiah 23:11 says, " 'For I 
know the plans I have for you,' declares 
the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not 
to harm you, plans to give you hope 
and a future' " (Niv). 

It has been two years since we un- 
derstood for sure that this was God's 
call and we made the decision to ac- 
cept that call. We are confident, with- 

out a shadow of a doubt, that this is 
where God wants us to be at this point 
in time. He has taken us one step at a 
time. Sometimes it has been difficult 
to be patient and wait until He reveals 
the next step of His plan for our lives, 
but we do not want to run ahead of 
Him and do things our own way. It has 
been an exciting two years, and we 
wait with anticipation to see what He 
will do next. Please pray with us that 
He will continue to reveal His will, and 
that we will recognize each step as it 
is presented to us. We trust and hope 
in Him for our future. 

We appreciate your prayers and sup- 
port over the years. If any of you are in 
the Denver area, we would enjoy shar- 
ing some time with you. Give us a call, 
and let's get together. 

Yours in Christ, 
Sharon Winter 
11957 Keough Drive 
Northglenn, CO 80233 
Phone: 303-452-1367 

Time spent in 

is never lost. 

Simon Lindberg 

Tk editor's Bickw 

Dear Friend, 

The WMS Board will meet in May to 
plan the WMS sessions for General 
Conference and to consider changes in 
the Constitution and Bylaws. If you 
have questions or areas which we 
should consider, please inform your 
district president. 

We are always gratified with the 
good attendance at the Board meet- 

ings. The Board includes all the dis- 
trict presidents, in addition to the 
elected and appointed officers. Attend- 
ing the Board meeting takes planning, 
especially for those who live far away. 
So when the ladies from the SW, SE, 
and Florida districts come, we are es- 
pecially happy. Give your ideas to 
them to bring. 

Jill Briscoe will speak for the WMS 
luncheon. Not only is she a popular 
speaker, she is also an author and we 
plan to have one of her books on the 
suggested reading list for next year. 
Plan to come and receive the blessing 
of hearing her before you read her book. 

The National Day of Prayer is Thurs- 
day, May 4. We are blessed to live in 
the country where this day is especial- 
ly recognized. Cooperate with your com- 
munity or church observance; however, 
if none is planned, you be the planner. 

Last fall Dorman bought a maple 
rocking chair at a garage sale. He 
could see the chair had great potential, 
even though it was in several pieces. 
After he glued it, we placed the chair 
in the corner of the bedroom, so now I 
have a comfy place to read. This is 
what I did a few Sunday afternoons in 
January. I enjoyed the chair and read 
When the Glass Slipper Doesn't Fit by 
Cloninger and Worley, which is one of 
the reading circle books. The author of 
Chapter 3, Karla Worley, presented 
Psalm 139 in a new manner. On p. 42, 
Karla likens me to a snowflake, unique 
and individually made. Not only am I 
an original, but I am wonderfully 
made for a definite purpose. I fit in a 
special place in God's body! 

When I shirk my duty of fulfilling 
that definite purpose, no one else takes 
my place. Each other person is busy 
doing his/her own thing for God's king- 
dom, so part of God's work isn't accom- 
plished unless I do it. Shame on me! 

Earlier in the chapter, Karla gives 
her personal application of the Seren- 
ity Prayer, relating the prayer to their 
son, Andy. My application would differ 
and so would yours. With these 
phrases, adapt the Serenity Prayer to 
be yours: 

God, grant me the serenity to accept 
the things I cannot change, 

Courage to change the things I can, 

And Lord, grant me the wisdom to 
know the difference between the things 
which must be accepted and the things 
which can be changed. Amen. 

Your friend, 

Woman's Outlook Newsletter 

(Continued from page 10 — before the Outlook Newsletter pages) 

(i God has done all He could possibly do through Jesus Christ to bring 
people into fellowship with Himself, but His judgment abides on 
those who resolutely refuse to believe and obey His Son." 

In spite of this connection, the 
Brethren maintained stout opposi- 
tion to universalistic beliefs that 
were clearly contrary to Scripture. 
The Annual Meetings of 1794, 1798, 
and 1800 notably rejected the teach- 
ings of a certain John H. of North 
Carolina, who taught that God is 
not wrathful and would punish no 
one. This firm stance caused some 
Brethren with universalist leanings 
to leave the brotherhood, especially 
during the first half of the 1800s. In 
fact, some former Brethren were 
active in the early development of 
the Universalist denomination. 

The doctrine continued to be held 
as a private opinion by many Breth- 
ren during the nineteenth century, 
although commitment to the doc- 
trine seems to wane towards the 
end of the century, possibly due to 
the influence of revivalism and evan- 
gelicalism. In 1858 James Quinter 
observed that the doctrine was "by 
no means universal among us." 2 

About the same time articles be- 
gan appearing in Brethren periodi- 
cals that were quite critical of the 
teaching. Annual Meeting ruled in 
1875 that no Brethren minister 
should preach or debate publicly in 
favor of the final restoration of all 
people, and in 1878 Annual Meet- 
ing said that the publication and 
sale of books on either side of the 
issue would be prohibited. 

The doctrine, though still present 
at the time of the three-way divi- 
sion of the Brethren in the early 
1880s, did not play a part in the 
split. Indeed, all three branches of 
the Brethren (the Old German Bap- 
tist Brethren, the Church of the 
Brethren, and The Brethren Church) 
had advocates of the doctrine. 
Though few in The Brethren Church 
in the late 1800s seem to have held 
to universal restoration, one lead- 
ing elder, B.C. Moomaw, did main- 
tain that all souls would be restored, 
though their suffering would be "ever- 
lasting" before they repented. 3 Be- 

James Quinter, "Who Are the 
Dunkards?" Monthly Gospel Visitor, 8 
(August 1858), 241. 

March 1995 

lief in universalism seems to have 
died out in The Brethren Church 
by the early part of this century, 
especially as fundamentalism and 
evangelicalism became more influ- 
ential in the church. 

Biblical Perspective 
on the Doctrine 

The underlying assumption for 
universal restoration is that God, 
in His essence, is love. As one work 
on universal restoration argued, 
since "the whole divine being is pure 
love," punishment must not be "never- 
ceasing and endless," but it must 
"aim at and be designed for their 
[all creatures'] final Preservation, 
Melioration, and Restoration." 4 

Scriptural passages often cited in 
support of the doctrine are Psalm 
103:9; Hosea 13:14; Micah 7:18; Ro- 
mans 5:18; 1 Corinthians 15:22, 26; 
Philippians 2:10-11; 1 Peter 3:19, 
4:6; and Revelation 5:11-13. These 
passages, however, need to be com- 
pared with such texts as Daniel 12:2; 
Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:47^8; 
Luke 13:25-30; John 3:36; 2 Thes- 
salonians 1:7-10; and 2 Peter 2:9. 

Three observations can be made 
about the passages cited in support 
of universal restoration: 

(1) Even though the doctrine lays 
stress on God's love as being the 
determining factor for eschatology 
(the doctrine of future things), none 
of the passages suggests that God's 
love is the ultimate factor in escha- 
tology. The one possible exception 
is Micah 7:18, but it, like the other 
Old Testament texts, speaks of God's 
covenant love toward Israel which 
will preserve a remnant of His pos- 
session in spite of His anger at their 
sin. Though God's love is a signifi- 
cant motive in providing salvation 
(see John 3:16), it should not be 
isolated from His holiness and right- 
eousness (see John 3:36). 

Michael L. Hodson, "Universalism," 
Brethren Encyclopedia, 1983, Vol. 2, 1293. 

Quoted in Dale R. Stoffer, Background 
and Development of Brethren Doctrines 
1650-1 987 (Philadelphia: Brethren Ency- 
clopedia, Inc., 1989), 96. 

(2) None of the passages deals 
unequivocally with the status of 
unbelievers after death. Several 
speak of the ultimate victory and 
lordship of Christ and of the life 
made available through Him. But 
their application to the issue of the 
future state of unbelievers is in- 
direct at best. It is dangerous in 
theology to build doctrine on Scrip- 
ture passages that do not directly 
address the issue. It is likewise dan- 
gerous to base a doctrine on notori- 
ously difficult passages, like 1 Peter 
3:19 and 4:6. 

(3) Nowhere does Scripture ad- 
dress the issue of an intermediate 
state for unbelievers after the final 
judgment. (The only intermediate 
state the Bible describes is that 
between death and the final judg- 
ment.) In the absence of any such 
teaching, we should approach pas- 
sages which supposedly support it 
with a measure of skepticism. 

In support of the view that the 
state of unbelievers is fixed for 
eternity, Matthew 25:46 is espe- 
cially significant. The word "eter- 
nal," which is used to describe the 
extent and nature of the life of the 
righteous, is also used to describe 
the extent and nature of the pun- 
ishment of those who are judged as 
accursed (see also verse 41). If the 
word eternal correctly describes the 
everlasting nature of our life with 
God, eternal must also describe the 
everlasting nature of the unbeliev- 
ers' life without God. 

Though such a reality is chilling, 
it does demonstrate both God's love 
and His holiness. God has done all 
He could possibly do through Jesus 
Christ to bring people into fellow- 
ship with Himself, but His judgment 
abides (see John 3:36) on those who 
resolutely refuse to believe and obey 
His Son. Such a realization should 
spur us on to the work of sharing 
the gospel with all people. [ft] 

Questions, comments, or suggestions for 
the Committee on Doctrine, Research, and 
Publication may be sent in care of The 
Brethren Evangelist, 524 College Ave., 
Ashland, OH 44805. 


Brethren World Missions 


Cure for a Sick Church 

By James R. Black, 

Executive Director of the 

Missionary Board of the Brethren Church 

I INTRODUCE the following com- 
ments by first of all expressing 
my deep appreciation to the Mis- 
sionary Board (my immediate 
employer) and to The Brethren 
Church. The years I have served 
the board first as Director of Home 
Missions and Evangelism and then 
as Executive Director have been 
rewarding beyond accurate de- 
scription. Few people have been 
privileged to have such a reward- 
ing ministry. 

A long-held conviction 

Now, in what may be my final 
article for the annual "World Mis- 
sions emphasis month," I want to 
share a conviction that I have long 
held, a conviction that I tried to 
foster throughout my many years 
of pastoral ministry prior to my 
relationship with the board, and 
one that I have certainly at- 
tempted to promote during this 
relationship. That conviction is this: 
I really believe that missions is 
the cure for sick churches and 
might well be the healing balm 
for those viewed as "terminally ill." 

It is generally believed that mis- 
sions and mission boards depend 
upon local churches for their 
existence and therefore must ac- 
tively seek assistance from those 
local churches. It is certainly true 
that without the cooperation and 
assistance of local churches, mis- 
sions and mission boards would 
not be very effective. 

But I would like to turn things 
around in an effort to reveal an 
even greater truth. I believe, in 
reality, that missions do not de- 
pend upon local churches for 
their existence nearly as much 
as local churches must depend 

upon missions for theirs. 

Something else related to this 
issue: I further believe that not 
only do local churches depend on 
missions for their health and con- 
tinuing existence, but the pastor 
is the key to bringing the church 
to a realization of this truth. A 
man named Clay Cooper once said, 
"Missionary pews depend, to a very 
large extent, upon missionary 
pulpits." Another way of saying 
this is "Like pastor, like people." 

I believe that most Brethren will 
agree that a healthy, growing con- 
gregation is one that is alive to its 
role in the world. That means 
missions at home ("Jerusalem"), 
and "unto the uttermost part of 
the earth" (Acts 1:8). Missions 
should not be seen merely as "an 
arm" of the church, but as "the 
very heart of the church"! If a 
church is busily involved in activ- 
ity resulting from obedience to 
the "Great Commission" man- 
date, it will have little time for 
the club-like activity of many or- 
ganizations whose purpose is 
merely doing "good things." As 
important as such good things 
may be to a community, they 
must not be seen as the reason 
for the existence of the church 
unless such activity contributes 
to the effectiveness of missions. 

A side benefit 

A side benefit of making mis- 
sions its priority is that if a local 
church sees the whole world as 
its parish, that church will have 
little time for internal spats and 
disagreements, which too often sap 
the church of its spiritual energy. 

I would like to challenge local 
congregations to become so ser- 





Rev. Jim 




of the 





1985, is 


from that 


at the end 

of May. 

ious about missions that they find 
it necessary to form a board of 
missions (not another committee), 
a board so funded and of suffi- 
cient size that it would even re- 
quire its own trustees just to 
oversee its aggressive program. 
Why not? Such a board could not 
only revitalize the church but 
could really cause it to prosper. 

A necessary change 

I certainly see that a radical 
change in attitude toward mis- 
sions might not only be helpful 
for a number of congregations, 
but that it might be absolutely es- 
sential for their spiritual health 
and welfare, and perhaps even 
for their continued existence. 
Whether terminally ill congrega- 
tions elect to "pull their own plug" 
or to let the disease simply run 
its course, the end result will be 
the same. With one procedure it 
just takes the body a bit longer to 
reach the embalmer's bench. 

Is your church feeling a bit 
"poorly" (as my mother would 
say)? If so, missions may be just 
the answer. [ft] 


The Brethren Evangelist 

Brethren World Missions 

The Brethren Church in Mexico in 1994 

By Todd and Tracy Ruggles 
Brethren Missionaries to Mexico 

LOOKING BACK over 1994, we 
are encouraged by all that the 
Lord has been doing in Mexico. 
We have had many sweet and bit- 
ter experiences during the year, 
but God has used both to deepen 
our faith in Him and to cause us 
to grow. 

The Brethren Church in Mexico 
experienced a few setbacks in 1994. 
Early last spring we nearly lost 
Pastor Moises Calderon, when he 
suffered a severe allergic reaction 
to some fish he had eaten. By the 
grace of God he survived, and af- 
ter a few months recovering from 
the allergy and the after-effects of 
the medicine, he resumed his min- 
istry in the church in Palo Solo. 

In late August, Pastor Jose Cas- 
tro resigned as the pastor of the 
church in Santa Teresa. He was 
serving as interim pastor follow- 
ing a church split in 1993, until 
the church could reestablish itself 
and find another pastor. Unfortu- 
nately, he left to pursue other 
ministry goals before a pastor 
was found. 

Despite this setback and the loss 
of its building, this church has 
continued to meet. It has even 
shown modest growth. A seminary 
student, David Clemente, has been 
holding Sunday services, and Todd 
has been leading the Wednesday 
services. David has been asked to 
be the pastor of the church. He 
has accepted and will begin full- 
time ministry there after he 
graduates in June. 

With deep regret, we saw the 
group in Prados Del Rosario dis- 
band. The group was formed of one 
family. A daughter, Francis, was 
particularly interested in having 
meetings, but the rest of her fam- 
ily was not that committed. We 
had bittersweet feelings when she 
married last summer: sweet be- 
cause she married a faithful Chris- 

Pastor Moises Calderon (I.) chats 
with student pastor David Clemente. 

tian man and joined him in his 
ministry; bitter because she left our 
group and it became clear it was 
time for the group to disband. 

While God closed doors in Pra- 
dos Del Rosario, He opened win- 
dows in Rio Blanco and Ciudad 
Azteca. Both are sites of new Bi- 
ble study groups started by the 
church in Palo Solo. The Rio Blan- 
co group currently has an average 
regular attendance of 16. Many of 
them are preparing to be bap- 
tized. The group in Ciudad Azteca 
is comprised of about five mem- 
bers of a family, but shows great 

The group in Jesus Del Monte 
continues to meet, but several 
members have become irregular 
in attendance. Pressures on new 
Christians persist as family mem- 
bers reject and mock their new- 
found faith. Pastor Ramon Her- 
nandez has prayerfully decided to 
join the church-planting efforts in 
Rio Blanco and Ciudad Azteca. He 
also leads the Sunday worship serv- 
ice in the Palo Solo Church. The 
group in Jesus Del Monte misses 
him greatly, but we praise God for 

the opportunities he has to serve 
in the other two areas. 

We have moved to the Jesus 
Del Monte area to have more con- 
tact with the people. We are very 
happy in our new apartment, and 
have had many opportunities to 
make more contacts in the com- 
munity. Currently the Jesus Del 
Monte group meets in our home 
for Sunday service. 

Other blessings we have experi- 
enced include the opportunity to 
witness the ordination of Pastor 
Moises Calderon and the licensure 
of Pastor Ramon Hernandez. We 
also joined in the celebration of 
the baptisms of Martin Ibanez 
Mundo from the Jesus Del Monte 
group, and sister Alejandra from 
Palo Solo. 

As many of you know, the po- 
litical and economic situation in 
Mexico has been growing more 
unstable. During 1994 two impor- 
tant government leaders were as- 
sassinated. The unrest among the 
poor in Chiapas erupted into armed 
conflict, which shows signs of pos- 
sible spreading to other areas, 
such as Tabasco. The devaluation 
of the peso has added to the ten- 
sion and has caused many to lose 
their jobs. Many people are apa- 
thetic and do not trust their gov- 
ernment. Some are fearful for their 
futures as their meager salaries 
diminish and as conflicts in the 
country continue. This is an im- 
portant time for us as Christians 
in Mexico. The need for God in 
the lives of the people of Mexico 
is very apparent. 

The church is growing in Mex- 
ico despite these setbacks. We 
have grown in wisdom, maturity, 
and in numbers. In the face of the 
problems of Mexico, The Brethren 
Church in Mexico continues to be 
a shining — if small — light for our 
Lord Jesus Christ. [ft] 

March 1995 


Brethren World Missions 

Colon: A Consecrated Congregation 

By Allen Baer 
Brethren Missionary to Argentina 

LAST YEAR the Argentine 
Brethren inaugurated three 
church buildings — at Casita de 
Betania (city of Rosario), Palermo 
(city of Buenos Aires), and Vena- 
do Tuerto (province of Santa Fe). 
Each of these has a story of faith 
and sacrificial giving behind it. 

Although 1995 may not see as 
many church buildings dedicated, 
nevertheless the Brethren will be 
able to rejoice in the completion 
of one of their most ambitious 
projects in recent years, the in- 
auguration of a new temple, seat- 
ing 1,000, in the city of Colon. 

Pastor Eduardo Rodriguez re- 
called recently that some may have 
considered the project an impossi- 
bility when they first toured the 
former medical clinic, which in 
April 1994 still occupied the fu- 
ture site of the church. Few lead- 
ers know their congregation bet- 
ter than Pastor Rodriguez knows 
his, however, so he could be sure 
that God would lead this church 
in unity and dedication through 
this project. 

Members of the building com- 
mittee chose Numbers 6:24 — 'The 
LORD bless you and keep you . . ." 
— as their theme. With this bless- 
ing, they set to work looking for 
funds. Using the proceeds from the 
sale of the missionary house for- 
merly occupied by the Aspinalls, 
the Argentine Brethren Church 
and the Missionary Board (U.S.A.) 
loaned the congregation most of 
the money it needed to cover the 
cost of the property. 

With these funds as a start, the 
committee challenged the local con- 
gregation, numbering around 300 
members (18 or older) with an 
average attendance above that, 
to supply the rest of the purchase 
money as well as total construc- 
tion costs. In addition to gifts and 
offerings received from members, 
the committee is selling bonds of 

Members of the Colon 

$10, $50, and $100. The women 
prepare food items to sell, and new 
and used items of every descrip- 
tion have been donated for sale. 
The struggle is tremendous, con- 
sidering that the loans must be 
repaid while the costs of materi- 
als and labor continue to mount. 

The finished structure promises 
to be beautiful, as well as care- 
fully designed and constructed. A 
covered entrance, landscaped on 
both sides, will lead from the street 
to the sanctuary. The sanctuary 
will have double-walled construc- 
tion, providing insulation as well 
as acoustical benefits. At the front 
of the sanctuary will be a large 
platform. Beneath the platform will 
be rooms for prayer groups. 

The main floor will seat 600, and 
a balcony supported by graceful 
columns will seat another 400. 
Pastor Rodriguez hopes that up- 
holstered seats with armrests (as 
frequently seen in public audito- 
riums) can be used. As he said, "A 
church should be a place for spir- 
itual as well as physical repose." 

To think that the Colon Church 
is completely absorbed with con- 
struction to the neglect of other 
ministries is to misunderstand 
these Brethren completely. The 

congregation at worship. 

church is a model of organization, 
being divided into six ministry 
groups, with each group counseled 
by one or more deacons or dea- 

Colon, a city of some 20,000, is 
situated about 250 kilometers from 
Buenos Aires, the capital. It is 
surrounded by some of the richest 
farmland found anywhere. Never- 
theless, sectors of its population face 
many of the social and economic 
problems all too common today. 

The Brethren there have shown 
their love for their neighbors by 
providing assistance in many 
ways. Currently an average of 85 
children receive milk and a snack 
seven days a week in three neigh- 
borhoods at permanent facilities 
called "lecherias" or "dairy bars." 
Two dining rooms located in church 
annexes also give a hot meal to 
100 children each Saturday. These 
services, staffed mainly by youth, 
receive no help except from the 
Colon Brethren. In addition, vis- 
itors, mainly children, are taught 
choruses and hear the gospel. 

Brethren from the United States 
who have been fortunate enough 
to visit Colon all agree that the 
love and hospitality of the Breth- 
ren there is very special. [D"] 


The Brethren Evangelist 

Brethren World Missions 

A Silver Jubilee Year in India 

By K. Prasanth Kumar 
Director, Brethren Mission in India 

THE LORD has been blessing 
the Brethren ministry in India 
in a wonderful way, enabling us 
to reap 25 years of bountiful har- 
vest for His glory. With heartfelt 
gratitude and thankfulness to the 
Lord, we share the celebration of 
the Silver Jubilee of the Brethren 
Mission in India with all Breth- 
ren around the world. 

We praise the Lord for the suc- 
cessful gospel meetings conducted 
in the village of Narkedimilli. We 
have visited this village often, 
reaching out to the people with 
personal evangelism. As a result, 
30 persons who received Christ 
into their hearts were baptized on 
January 30, 1994. 

The Lenten Cottage Prayer and 
Fasting Meetings were begun Feb- 
ruary 16 and continued through 
Easter Sunday. Many non-believ- 
ers were reached with the gospel 
during this time. We visited the 
villages of Timmapuram and San- 
kili many times in the past year, 
and 17 people from these villages 
accepted Jesus as their personal 
Savior and were baptized. 

Vacation Bible school for chil- 
dren and a youth retreat for older 
young people were conducted in 
May. For the children, it was a 
great time of learning the word of 
God. We used cassettes received 
from the Lakeland Child Evangel- 
ism program. To God be the glory 
for the wonderful spiritual nur- 
ture the children received! 

Special meetings for women 
were held at the Sewing Schools 
in Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, 
and Hyderabad. In order to reach 
young men and women with the 
gospel, a Brethren Reading Room 
was opened in Rajahmundry on 
June 25 in connection with the Sil- 
ver Jubilee of the Brethren Mis- 
sion in India. Numerous young men 
and women, especially students, 
are coming and reading a variety 

Young men lined up in front of the new Brethren Reading Room in Rajahmundry. 

of Christian books and literature. 

The Brethren Pastors' Meeting 
was held July 9 in Rajahmundry. 
On that same day, Nirmala and I 
left for Bombay to catch our inter- 
national flight to the United States. 
We felt blessed to be in the U.S. 
for three months (July to October) 
and to have the opportunity in Au- 
gust to attend General Conference 
in Ashland. We were very happy to 
renew old acquaintanceships and 
also to make new friends. 

We would like to take this op- 
portunity to thank the Missionary 
Board for the preparations made 
to make our stay a very pleasant 
one. We were much honored and 
welcomed at every church we vis- 
ited, and we are immensely grate- 
ful to pastors and the Brethren. 

Upon our return to India, we be- 
gan making plans for Christmas 
activities. We traveled to a differ- 
ent village every night during the 
Christmas season conducting 
Christmas Gospel Meetings. Peo- 
ple in the villages responded very 
well to the message of the gospel 
in these meetings. The Christmas 
celebrations in the city churches 
of Rajahmundry, Visakhapatnam, 
and Hyderabad were also very 
meaningful. Children and youth 
presented Christmas playlets and 
sang Christmas music. 

The Silver Jubilee Gospel Cru- 

sade, conducted January 27-29, 
1995, proved to be the high point 
of all our years of ministry. We 
have a deep sense of gratitude to 
Rev. James R. Black and Rev. 
Reilly Smith for being a very im- 
portant part of this crusade. Their 
spirit-filled messages were a spir- 
itually uplifting experience for the 
thousands of people who attended. 
On the first day, 3,000 people at- 
tended, and on the second and third 
days 5,000 to 5,500 people came. 
To God be the glory! During the 
crusade, 88 people accepted Jesus 
as their Savior, and these were 
baptized on Sunday, January 29. 

The new Boys' Orphanage was 
dedicated to the glory of God on 
January 26 by Rev. James Black. 
We express our sincere gratitude 
to all the churches and individu- 
als that made this project a real- 
ity. You have given shelter and a 
dwelling place to the orphan boys. 

With grateful hearts we thank 
the Brethren, W.M.S. groups, Sun- 
day schools, and V.B.S. groups for 
sending boxes of useful supplies 
and for taking on various useful 
projects. We continue to uphold in 
prayer each one of you who has 
shared in some way in the multi- 
faceted ministry of the Brethren 
Mission in India. May our good 
Lord continue to enrich your lives 
with His special blessings. [ft] 

March 1995 




Mt. Zion Fellowship of the Brethren Dedicates New Church Building 

Cleveland, Ohio — A capacity crowd 
filled the new 1,400-seat sanctuary of the 
Mount Zion Fellowship of the Brethren on 
January 29 for the dedication service of the 
congregation's new worship facility. 

The new $2-million building is the 
first church facility of the Mt. Zion con- 
gregation. Since its beginning in De- 
cember 1982 as a Brethren Home Mis- 
sion Church, this congregation, for- 
merly known as Brethren Fellowship of 
the Savior, had met in rented facilities. 

Dr. Ronald Williams, founder and pas- 
tor of the Mt. Zion Church, gave the 
message for the dedication service. The 
theme of his message, based on Exodus 
12-17, was that the principles of God 
are stronger than the facts of the world. 

Also participating in the service were 
Dr. Joseph R. Shultz, former president 
of Ashland University and Theological 
Seminary, who gave a "Charge to the 
Leadership" of the church; and Dr. Jerry 
Durham, pastor of the Church of the 
Savior of Wooster, Ohio, who gave a 
"Charge to the Church." In addition, sev- 
eral elders of the Mt. Zion congregation 
led responsive readings and helped with 
the ceremony of dedication. 

The service also included a time of 
praise and song by musicians and the 
congregation. The Praise Dancers pre- 
sented 'The Battle Is Not Yours." The 
church choir, "Voices of Koinonia," sang 
"None Else Can Deliver Us" and other 
selections composed and led by Pastor 
Williams and Michael Dotson, Minister 
of Music. 

An invitation to receive Christ as Sav- 
ior and for church membership was given, 
to which many children and adults re- 
sponded. Following the dedication serv- 
ice, a reception was held for the entire 
congregation in the large family center. 

Brethren Fellowship of the Savior, as 


the Mt. Zion church was originally called, 
met in three different facilities in suc- 
cession before acquiring its own build- 
ing. It first used St. Peter's Lutheran 
Church in Shaker Heights, but it soon 
outgrew that facility. It then moved to 
Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church in 
Cleveland Heights, where it grew to 
nearly 1,000 members. The congrega- 
tion then moved to the St. Benedictine 
Church in Cleveland, where it met until 
its new building was completed. The 
present membership of the congrega- 
tion is approximately 1,600. 

During its years as a Home Mission 
congregation (from 1983 to 1989), Breth- 
ren Fellowship of the Savior received 
approximately $82,000 in support from 
the Missionary Board of the Brethren 
Church. In 1983 the congregation was 
the recipient of a Growth Partner Club 
Call, which totaled $13,270. The Mis- 
sionary Board also made a low-interest 
loan of $50,000 to the congregation to 

help finance the new building. 

The Mt. Zion congregation had to sur- 
mount some huge obstacles in its efforts 
to obtain its own building. It first pur- 
chased land in Solon, Ohio, but sold the 
site at a $10,000 loss after Solon city 
officials raised several objections to the 
church's proposed building plan. The 
congregation then tried to purchase land 
from the city of Cleveland. This pur- 
chase was delayed for some time by a 
dispute between Cleveland's major and 
city council over the selling price. Even 
when this was settled and the sale was 
finally approved, city council raised an- 
other hurdle by requiring $125,000 in 
"site preparation." Getting financing for 
construction of the building was also a 
problem. But finally, by the power of 
God and the faithfulness of His people, 
all obstacles were overcome, construction 
was completed, and the building was 
dedicated to the glory of the Lord. 

— reported by Dr. Joseph R. Shultz 

A capacity crowd attended the dedication ofMt. Zion's new worship facility. 

The Brethren Evangelist 

Little Crusader 

Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder 
them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:14). 

Hi boys and girls! 

A lot of building has been going on at my church the last few months. We are building 
a new Family Life Center, with more Sunday school classrooms. It's fun to go and watch 
the men as they work on the different parts of the building. It's amazing to watch the 
builders at work using really neat power tools to make their work easier and faster. The 
job can certainly be done well with the right kind of tools. 

Jesus gives us different kinds of tools to use when we tell others about Him. One of 
the tools He gives us is wisdom. Wisdom helps us to say and do the right things for 
Jesus. In the Bible, in James 1 :5, it says that God gives lots and lots of wisdom to anyone 
who asks for it. Another tool God gives us is courage. Courage helps us to be strong 
and not afraid to tell others about Jesus. Psalm 18:29 says that when God gives us 
courage, we can do anything! Jesus has also given us the best tool of all, the BIBLE. 
The Bible — God's word — can answer any questions we may have and help us to live the 
way God wants us to live. 

Are you using the right tools for Jesus? I hope so! When you use the right tools, 
everything turns out great! 

Complete the crossword puzzle using the following words: 




2. We can 

for Jesus every day! 



Across . This tool answers our ques- 
tions about God and helps us live 
the way God wants us to live. 

Down. A makes lots of 



This tool helps us to be strong 
and not afraid. 

are used to build things. 

This tool helps us to say and do 
the right things. 

Do you others get to know 


March 1995 



Jon Lundy Leads Seminar at Gretna Church 
On "The Emotional Cycles of Marriage" 

Belief ontaine, Ohio — Expressions of 
need in a relationship can lead to inti- 
macy or result in conflict; problem solv- 
ing skills can be used to guard against 
separation and resentment in marriage. 

These principles were the heart of a 
message presented by Christian coun- 
selor and Ashland Theological Seminary 
graduate Jon Lundy at a half-day sem- 
inar held Saturday morning, January 
14, at the Gretna Brethren Church. The 
informative and practical seminar was 
attended by thirty people. 

Lundy, a husband and father who has 
a full-time Christian counseling prac- 
tice in Logan County, Ohio, shared per- 
sonal anecdotes and professional in- 
sights to illustrate 'The Emotional Cy- 
cles of Marriage." He said that people 
have personal love banks into which 
deposits are made and from which with- 
drawals are taken through interactions 
with others. Unhappy people tend to 
perceive that they are experiencing too 
many debits and too few credits to their 
love accounts. 

Lundy encourages couples to actively 
seek to develop skills that foster close- 
ness and harmony. Such skills activate 
what Lundy calls the "Intimacy Cycle." 

In order to experience intimacy, spouses 
must express needs as they arise. When 
a need is expressed, the result is imme- 
diate relief and an expectation that the 
need will be met. A partner who re- 
sponds to the expression of need with 
empathy affirms his or her mate. The 
person with the need feels accepted and 
worthy. Self-esteem, satisfaction, and 
contentment come when needs are met 
by cooperating partners. 

In this connection, Lundy cites Philip- 
pians 2:1^1 (niv): "If you have any en- 
couragement from being united with 
Christ, if any comfort from his love, if 
any fellowship with the Spirit, if any 
tenderness and compassion, then make 
my joy complete by being like-minded, 
having the same love, being one in spirit 
and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish 
ambition or vain conceit, but in humility 
consider others better than yourselves. 
Each of you should look not only to your 
own interests, but also to the interests 
of others." 

An attitude of Christian humility in 
marriage enables us to see our spouses 
as worthy of preferential treatment and 
gives us an accurate view of the things 
we need to be working on in order to be 

Retirement Board Makes Change 
In Brethren Pension Plan & Trust 

Ashland, Ohio — The Retirement 
Board has voted unanimously to change 
the Brethren Church Pension Plan and 
Trust from a trustee-directed to a par- 
ticipant-directed plan. The change will 
take place effective July 1, 1995, pend- 
ing the ability to make the necessary 
transitions by that time. 

'This action was taken in response to 
interest expressed by many plan par- 
ticipants," said Retirement Board Pres- 
ident Tim Rowsey. "We believe this change 
will provide each pension plan partici- 
pant with a greater latitude in deciding 
how his pension funds will be invested." 

As a trustee-directed plan, the Retire- 
ment Board members selected the 
money managers and determined how 
funds were allocated among those man- 
agers. This has created certain chal- 
lenges for the board. Generally, younger 
persons take a more aggressive ap- 
proach to investment of retirement 
funds and feel more comfortable taking 
a greater risk. 

As persons approach retirement, 
however, they tend to prefer a more 


conservative approach so as to place 
their accumulated funds at lower risk. 
Because of the age spread of pastors and 
other participants in the Brethren pen- 
sion plan, it is difficult to select a fund 
allocation plan that is satisfactory to all 

Under the participant-directed ap- 
proach, the Retirement Board will 
select mutual funds with a variety of 
investment objectives. Each participant 
will complete a questionnaire to help 
the plan consultant make recommenda- 
tions on how to allocate that individual's 
portion of the fund. Participants will be 
free to follow the recommendation or to 
determine their own allocation. 

Representatives of the pension plan 
consultant will explain these changes in 
more detail at the Brethren Pastors' 
Retreat on April 26. Participants may 
also direct questions to Retirement 
Board President Tim Rowsey at 419- 

We are too Christian really to enjoy 
sinning, and too fond of sinning really to 
enjoy Christianity. Most of us know per- 
fectly well what we ought to do; our 
trouble is that we do not want to do it. 
— Peter Marshall 

more considerate toward them. Tender- 
ness and compassion enable couples in 
a loving relationship to say, "This is 
what I need from you," so that the inti- 
macy cycle can evolve. 

Participants in the seminar were ad- 
monished to guard against the "Con- 
flict/Separation Cycle," which Lundy 
says can grow out of selfish ambition 
("My spouse is here to meet my needs") 
or vain conceit ("I'm great; there's noth- 
ing wrong with me"). The trouble begins 
when an offense is committed or when 
a negative response (or no response) is 
made to an expression of need. The part- 
ner feels hurt and rejected and attempts 
to resolve the bad feelings by blaming 
himself/herself or by blaming others. 
Frustration then leads to anger, resent- 
ment, and fighting. 

At some point, the hurting person 
withdraws and becomes vulnerable to 
actions or solutions that are destructive 
to the relationship. He or she may be- 
come absorbed in other activities or 
even participate in an extramarital af- 
fair. Withdrawal eventually leads to bit- 
terness and a crushed spirit. When mar- 
riage energy dies through feelings of 
hopelessness and despair, divorce be- 
comes the escape route and the separa- 
tion cycle is complete. 

To interrupt the cycle, individuals 
must stop adding to hurts or keeping 
score and take responsibility for their 
own actions. "Start by trying to listen," 
Lundy said. Apply Christ's salvation 
model to restore broken relationships. 

It is necessary to confess responsibil- 
ity for contributing to the partner's un- 
happiness. But even more importantly, 
one must establish an emotional con- 
nection with the pain one's partner is 
experiencing. Repentance comes with a 
determination to do things differently; 
and forgiveness follows when a decision 
is made no longer to hold an offense 
against one's mate. Only then can rec- 
onciliation take place. 

Lundy encourages couples to examine 
their own problems using the models of 
intimacy and separation cycles, and to 
develop a plan for problem-solving. One 
such plan uses the acronym SOLVE: 
State the problem; Outline your usual 
past response; List possible alterna- 
tives; Visualize how each alternative 
might work; and Evaluate results. 
Lundy also suggested that couples re- 
view how they manage their time and 
that they make their relationship their 
number one priority. 

Participants rated the seminar very 
highly. The Gretna deacons plan to de- 
velop more opportunities for marriage 
enrichment in the future. 

— by Mary Hess 

The Brethren Evangelist 




Queen Aurandt was honored at a 
celebration held January 1 at the Vinco 
Brethren Church in recognition of her 
90th birthday. Mrs. Aurandt has been a 
lifelong member of the Vinco Brethren 
Church in Mineral Point, Pa., where she 
has also been active in the church's Sun- 
day school. She served as head cook for 
a number of years at Camp Juniata and 
Camp Peniel. She is the mother of four 
children and has about 40 grandchil- 
dren and great-grandchildren. 

John and Connie Will, Edith Hoff- 
man, and Tom Sprowls, Sr., were in- 
stalled as deacons and deaconesses on 
Sunday, January 22, at the Berlin 
Brethren Church. 

The Bryan, Ohio, First Brethren 
Church presented a check for $11,400 
to the Missionary Board of the Brethren 
Church recently. The money was from 

bequests received by the church from 
the Kaiser and Wineland estates, and a 
portion of the money was earmarked for 
outreach/mission work. Tony Stever, 
chair of the Kaiser/Wineland Estate 
Committee, presented the check to Rev. 
James R. Black, Executive Director of 
the Missionary Board. The money was 
specifically given for Brethren mission 
work in India. 

Brethren "south of the border" are 
sharing their activities with one an- 
other through The International 
Evangelist, a quarterly Latin Ameri- 
can Brethren newsletter published by 
Dr. Juan Carlos Miranda. The publica- 
tion also includes information about the 
Hispanic churches in the U.S.A., news 
from Brethren national offices in Ash- 
land, and notes about General Confer- 
ence activities. One copy is mailed to 
each pastor and leader, and they make 
photocopies to distribute to the congre- 
gations. A cassette tape is also sent con- 
taining a message, recorded workshop, 
or study from some international con- 
gress or meeting. The newsletter has 
been well received by the pastors. 

Jan Solomon, former Brethren mis- 
sionary to Colombia, has been invited to 
be part of a CoMission team that will 
spend two weeks in the former Soviet 
Union leading convocations introducing 
educators there to a curriculum entitled 
Christian Ethics and Morality: A Foun- 

ln Memory 

Josephine L. Blosser, 95, February 16. Long- 
time active member of The Brethren Church in 
New Lebanon, where she served as a deaconess 
and Sunday school and Bible teacher for many 
years. Services by Charles Wiltrout and Jim 

Donald Leckey, 87, February 9. Lifelong mem- 
ber of the Vinco Brethren Church, where he had 
served as Sunday school superintendent. Serv- 
ices by Pastor Jerry Fike. 
Clara Miatke, 91, February 7. Member and dea- 
coness at the Milledgeville Brethren Church, 
where she was also a member of the W.M.S. 
Services by Pastor Kenneth Sullivan. 
Mary Craft Penn, 79, February 6. Member of 
the Flora First Brethren Church. Services by Rev. 
Alvin Grumbling and Pastor Brian Bolinger. 
Mildred Johnson, 88, February 2. Member for 
75 years of the Masontown Brethren Church, 
where she taught Sunday school and was Sunday 
school pianist for many years and was a member 
of the W.M.S. Services by Pastor Curt Nies. 
Edwin Neterer, 80, January 26. Member of the 
Goshen First Brethren Church. Services by Pas- 
tor Donald Rowser. 

Wilbur D. Whittle, 87, January 20. Member of 
the Goshen First Brethren Church. Services by 
Pastor Donald Rowser. 

Geneva Altfather, 86, January 18. Dedicated 
member for 68 years of the Berlin Brethren 
Church, where for 62 years she served in various 

March 1995 

positions in the Sunday school, including as 
teacher, department superintendent, librarian, 
and chair of the home department. Services by 
Pastor Bryan G. Karchner. 
Virginia Culp, 83, January 11. Member of the 
Goshen First Brethren Church. Services by Pas- 
tor Donald Rowser. 

Bob Weise, 85, December 30. Member of the 
Goshen First Brethren Church. Services by Pas- 
tor Donald Rowser. 

Ruth Cumley, 76, December 14. Member of the 
Masontown Brethren Church, where she had 
served as a Sunday school teacher, on the Board 
of Outreach, and was a member of the W.M.S. 
Services by Pastor Curt Nies. 
Richard Graehling, 83, November 15. Member 
and deacon at the Milledgeville Brethren Church, 
where he had also served as a trustee. Services by 
Pastor Kenneth Sullivan. 


Clarence and Phyllis Oyster, 55th, March 24. 
Members of the Louisville First Brethren Church. 
George and Inez Miller, 55th, March 16. Mem- 
bers of the Vinco Brethren Church. 

Membership Growth 

Vinco: 2 by baptism 

Valley: 3 by baptism 

Pleasant View: 1 by baptism 

Goshen: 3 by baptism, 2 by transfer 

dation for Society. The team, which 
leaves April 12, will go to the cities of 
Ulan-Ude and Chita, which are located 
above Mongolia in the Asian part of the 
former Soviet Union. They will be the 
first CoMission team to bring the gospel 
to this area. Anyone interested in shar- 
ing in this ministry through prayer or 
financial support may contact Jan at 
3789 Echo Hill Lane, Dayton, OH 45430 
(phone 513-427-8487). 

World Relief Responds to 
Kobe, Japan, Earthquake 

Wheaton, 111. — World Relief Corpora- 
tion of the National Association of Evan- 
gelicals, working through the Tokyo- 
based Japan Evangelical Association 
(JEA) is helping more than 61 churches 
hit by the recent earthquake in Kobe to 

Even though Japan has an outstand- 
ing emergency response system of its 
own, an earthquake of the magnitude of 
the one that hit Kobe creates human 
misery anywhere, noted David Loudon, 
World Reliefs disaster response coordi- 
nator, in explaining why World Relief is 
sending aid to Japan. 'This is a unique 
opportunity to stand with Japanese 
churches who are on the front-lines 
ministering and who need help them- 
selves," Loudon said. 

The JEA told us that it would be a 
great help if they could get help from 
friends overseas," Loudon continued. 
"Given the need of the churches and 
church people, there was no question 
that we would respond." 

"This is the first stage of our relief 
work for this calamity," reports Rev. 
Hiroshi Inagaki, General Secretary of the 
JEA. "The second stage will be a longer 
project of helping to keep the churches 
alive and to re-establish themselves." 

Heritage Tour 

October 9-20, 1995 

Visit scenic sites of Anabaptist, 
Pietist, and Brethren significance in 
Switzerland, France, Germany, and 
the Netherlands. 

Sponsored by: 
Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc. 

$1,950 from New York (JFK) 

For brochure, contact: 

Don Durnbaugh 

POB 484 

James Creek, PA 16657 



< 1 < • > f > o s* < ■ ■, 


A note from 

James R. Black 


A wonderful History 
and a great Future! 

Thank you for your 









^Cooperative Ministries 



524 College Avenue 
Ashland, OH 44805 




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New Family Life Center of Park Street Church 

See pages 3 and 16. 

Seeing God's Hand at Work 

Analogy of a Choice 

By Terri Pelger 

C TF JESUS CHRIST, who is God, humbled Him- 
-Lself to wash the feet of His disciples, can we do 
any less?" the pastor asked the youth of the First 
Brethren Church of Louisville, Ohio, as they pre- 
pared for the footwashing service. The youth were 
quiet and attentive as the pastor spoke these 
words. "Do it for Christ," he continued. 

On the other side of town, a young boy listens 
attentively as an older boy attempts to convert him 
to his way of thinking. "It's okay, man. Just try it 
once. Do something nice for yourself." 

As the youth entered the room where the foot- 
washing was to take place, apprehension was vis- 
ible on their faces. For many, this would be their 
first such experience. 

As the young boy entered the house of the drug 
dealer, he was filled with anxiety. He began to 
sweat. His heart began to pound. 

The youth began to remove their shoes and socks 
in preparation for the footwashing. Their eyes 
searched the room to see who might be watching. 

The young boy removed his coat and rolled up 
his sleeve. He looked around quickly, hoping no 
one would see what was about to take place. 

As several young people sat down in the chairs, 
others came forward and wrapped towels about 
their waists. Then kneeling, each one gently lifted 
the foot of the one seated in front of her and ten- 
derly washed it. 

As the young boy sat down in the chair, the 
dealer took out a rubber strip and tied it around the 
boy's upper arm. Then he picked up the syringe and 
with one quick motion thrust it into the boy's arm. 

After the feet were washed and dried, the two 
stood and embraced. Smiles warmed each face as 
words of blessings were exchanged: "God bless 

you." It was a Spirit-filled moment none would 
soon forget. 

As soon as the dealer removed the needle from 
the boy's arm, he smiled triumphantly. "Okay, kid," 
he said, "this one was your free introductory offer. 
Be ready to pay up next time. Now get out of here." 
The boy walked away conscious that the emptiness 
inside him was still there, only much stronger now. 

Young people today have many serious choices 
to make, choices that will not only affect the rest 
of their earthly lives, but which could determine 
their eternal homes. As I watched our young peo- 
ple during the footwashing, I praised God that 
these young people have chosen to walk in Christ's 
footsteps by washing one another's feet. 

". . . choose for yourselves this day whom you 
will serve . . ." (Joshua 24:15, NF/). [t] 

Mrs. Pelger is a member of the Louisville, Ohio, First 
Brethren Church, where she teaches young people in 
grades six to eight. In a letter accompanying this article, 
she wrote: 

The first part of January [Jan. 4, 1995] our church 
had a Communion/Footwashing service for our 
youth. As I watched these kids participate in the foot- 
washing service, my heart was truly touched. I was 
so proud of them. Most were reluctant to take part, 
but after Pastor [Jim] Koontz shared with them from 
Scripture concerning footwashing, almost everyone 
voluntarily joined in. 

As I watched the kids sincerely and tenderly wash 
one another's feet, I kept thinking of so many other 
things they could be doing this night. But instead, 
they were here following Christ's example of love 
and service. 

From this experience was born the idea for the 
enclosed story, "Analogy of a Choice." This was defi- 
nitely an example of "Seeing God's Hand at Work." 

RE"Nv\NS>ErR. op 


pott 0O<* &<*l. 

r uv^e to tw\i4\< ot=- 


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3OA0.WAS, A 


The Brethren Evangelist 

Funderburg Library 


North Manchester, IN 46962 

April 1995 
Volume 117, Number 4 

The Brethren Evangelist 

(ISSN 0747-4288) 


Richard C. Winfield 

Children's Page 

Sandi Rowsey 

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Analogy of a Choice by Terri Pelger 

A moving account of two kinds of choices facing our young people in 

today's world. 

Behold, the Empty Tomb! by Glenn Grumbling 
Those who would deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ face the impos- 
sible task of explaining what became of His body. 

Should The Brethren Church Accept into Membership 
People Previously Baptized by Arty Form of Believer Baptism? 

by Dale R. Stoffer 

The writer explains why he raised this question at the 1994 General 

Conference and presents his views on the issue. 

Prayer: From Theory Into Practice by Carolyn Cooksey 
The final article in a series of four on Acts 2:42, the General Confer- 
ence theme verse for 1995. 

Revelation and the Bible by Brenda Colijn 

We can know God because He has taken the initiative and provided 

us a reliable source of information about Himself. 


Ministry Pages Brethren World Relief 

By Your Gifts, You Are There (in Nicaragua, in Mozambique 12 
Continuing Aid to Rwanda, Changing Lives in Croatia, and 
Becoming Partners in Malawi) 

Our Gifts to World Relief Corporation Are Appreciated! 

World Relief Awareness and Fund-Raising Ideas 

compiled by Timothy Garner 

An Accounting of Our Stewardship 





Children's Page 

by Sandi Rowsey 

From the Grape Vine 

Answers to the Little Crusader page: 

Special message: "God is three in one." 



April 1995 

Behold, the Empty Tomb! 

By Glenn Grumbling 

that Christ's tomb was empty. 
Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother 
of James, and Salome arrived at 
daybreak. They testified that the 
stone had been rolled away and the 
tomb was empty. 

Peter and John were told by Mary 
Magdalene that the tomb was 
empty. They ran to see and found 
an open tomb. They examined it and 
testified that all they found inside 
were the grave clothes of Jesus. 

Women came bearing spices to 
complete the work of embalming 
Christ's body. They testified that 
the tomb was empty and that an 
angel told them, "He is not here: 
for he is risen, as he said. Come, 
see the place where the Lord lay." 

The Roman soldiers never dis- 
puted that the tomb was empty. 
They had been commanded to 
guard the tomb and not to let His 
disciples steal His body. They re- 
mained obediently at their posts 
but were apparently awe-struck 
and mesmerized. There is no hint 
that they spoke one word to hinder 
the disciples from coming in 
streams to view the empty tomb. 

The Jewish leaders never denied 
that the tomb was empty. Their lit- 
erature states what Scripture re- 
ports that they were claiming, that 
Jesus' disciples came and stole His 
body away (see Matthew 28:11-15). 

What happened to the body? 

The question that remains, there- 
fore, is this: "What happened to the 
body of Jesus Christ?" Following 
are the major theories that have 
been advanced: 

The women went to the wrong 

Rev. Grumbling currently pastors the 
College Corner Brethren Church near 
Wabash, Ind., but will begin pastoring 
the Second Brethren Church in Johns- 
town, Pa., in May. This article origi- 
nally appeared in the College Corner 
Church newsletter. 

sepulcher. Yet Matthew 27:61, 
Mark 15:47, and Luke 23:55 all 
state that the women were watch- 
ing when Joseph of Arimathea and 
Nicodemus (John 19:39) placed His 
body in the tomb. Besides, since it 
was the family tomb of Joseph, he 
could have corrected them if they 
were wrong. Also, it was the only 
tomb guarded by the soldiers. 

"Down through history 
literally hundreds of 
millions of Christians 
have testified, 'I have 
experienced a personal 
encounter with the 
living Christ.' " 

Jesus only swooned or faint- 
ed, then revived inside the tomb, 
shoved back the stone and 
went to His disciples. The evi- 
dence is clear that Jesus was dead 
when He was placed in the tomb. 
The Roman soldier's spear had 
brought forth a stream of water and 
blood from His side. The Roman 
captain testified that He was dead. 
In addition, wrapping the head in 
swaddling strips and saturating 
them with sticky spices would 
have prevented any passage of air 
to His nostrils or mouth. 

The disciples stole His body. 

Those who believe this are obviously 
ignorant of the military efficiency 
of Roman soldiers. Besides, most of 
these disciples suffered a martyr's 
death for testifying that Jesus rose 
from the dead and that they had 
seen Him, heard Him, and touched 
Him. It is beyond belief that they 
would die to the last man for a lie. 

The Roman or Jewish author- 
ities removed His body. These 
were the people who bemoaned the 
fact that the disciples were "turn- 
ing the world upside down" with 
their message of Christ's resurrec- 

tion. All they would have had to do 
to put an end to it was to produce 
the body of Jesus. 

Therefore, none of these theories 
about what happened to the body 
of Jesus Christ could be correct. 
There is only one theory that can 
be true. And that is that Christ 
rose bodily from the dead. 

Literally hundreds of disciples 
gave fervent testimony that they 
had seen and heard Jesus after 
His death and burial. They were so 
convinced that this was fact that, 
within their generation, they took 
the message of His death and res- 
urrection to every known nation. 

To deny the resurrection of Jesus 
Christ, one must deny that God's 
word, the Bible, is true. The Bible 
from beginning to end is saturated 
with the facts of the death and res- 
urrection of Jesus Christ. 

"I have met the Lord!" 

Down through history literally 
hundreds of millions of Christians 
have testified, "I have experienced 
a personal encounter with the liv- 
ing Christ." These people have come 
from every rank and station in life, 
from every age group and every 

If someone were to write an 
essay proving the existence of my 
wife, I doubt that I would read it, 
except for amusement. Because of 
my personal relationship with my 
wife, no one who could cause me to 
doubt her existence. 

When someone has truly met 
Jesus in an experience of saving 
faith, it doesn't matter how many 
skeptical arguments are mar- 
shaled against that person's belief. 
He or she smiles and says: 

You ask me how I know He lives? 
He lives within my heart. 

If you haven't met Him, He stands 
ready to become your personal 
acquaintance and your Savior and 
Lord! [if] 

The Brethren Evangelist 

Should The Brethren Church Accept into Membership 

People Previously Baptized 
By Any Form of Believer Baptism? 

By Dale R. Stoffer 

At the 1994 General Conference, 
Dr. Dale Stoffer made a motion that 
"the National Association of Brethren 
Church Elders be charged with study- 
ing the issue of the reception of peo- 
ple into local church membership 
who had previously been baptized by 
any form of believer's baptism . . . ." 
The motion was adopted by the Con- 
ference. At the request of the editor, 
Dr. Stoffer wrote the following article 
telling why he brought this issue be- 
fore Conference and presenting his 
views on the issue. 

THE QUESTION which forms the 
title of this article is a question 
with which I have wrestled for well 
over ten years. I would like to share 
some of my thoughts about this ques- 
tion as well as the reasons why I 
brought the issue before General 
Conference last year. 

Reasons for raising 
this Issue 

At the outset I must stress that 
I raised the issue not because I 
question whether trine immersion 
is the most meaningful form of bap- 
tism. I am probably as strong an 
advocate for the practice of trine im- 
mersion as anyone. I would never 
consider baptizing any new believer 
by any other form. I certainly did 
not raise this issue because I enjoy 
controversy or because I thought it 
was more important than some of 
the other issues before us. 

There are three reasons why I 
raised it. First is my commitment 
to the process of consensus. When 
Brethren come to a decision on a 
matter, I believe, because of my com- 

Dr. Stoffer, a member of the Ashland 
Park Street Brethren Church, is assis- 
tant professor of historical theology at 
Ashland Theological Seminary. He is 
recognized among Brethren as one of 
the leading authorities on Brethren 
history and theology. 


mitment to the body of Christ, that 
I must abide by that decision. Even 
though I have serious reservations 
about the present Brethren stance 
that believers baptized by a form 
other than immersion must be re- 
baptized, I have always counseled 
that such people had to be rebap- 
tized. Consensus means that I need 
to submit my view to the position 
officially adopted by the Brethren. 

But consensus also means that if 
I disagree with a position on scrip- 
tural grounds, I need to seek the 
counsel of the Brethren, no matter 
how controversial the issue may 
appear. As Brethren, we do not be- 
lieve that we have the right to do 
our own thing independent of the 
rest of the body. Though this quali- 
fies as American rugged individu- 
alism, it is not biblical. (Read the 
book of 1 Corinthians and see what 
Paul thought about the individual- 
ism and divisiveness of the Corin- 
thian Christians.) 

If I disagree with an official posi- 
tion of the Brethren, I am obli- 
gated to seek the counsel of the 
Brethren, to study the issue to- 


Believer('s) baptism — baptism of 
a person who has confessed belief in 
Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. (It 
contrasts with baptism of infants.) 

Believers') immersion — any bap- 
tism in which a believer (a person who 
has confessed belief in Jesus Christ) 
is immersed (dipped, dunked) into the 
water. The immersion could be back- 
ward or forward, one time or more 
than once. (It contrasts with believer 
baptism in which water is sprinkled or 
poured on the person.) 

Trine — threefold, triple 

Trine immersion — baptism in 
which a person (believer) is immersed 
(dipped) into the water three times (in 
Brethren practice, three times for- 
ward from a kneeling position). 

gether with my brothers and sis- 
ters, to search Scripture and be open 
to the leading of the Spirit of truth. 
If the Brethren, after seeking the 
counsel of Scripture and the lead- 
ing of the Spirit, decide to retain 
the present practice, then I will con- 
tinue to abide by the decision. 

All too often, however, either we 
as Brethren are afraid to raise dif- 
ficult issues out of fear of conflict, 
or we follow the American trait of 
doing our own thing. Either way 
the spiritual unity and welfare of 
the body of Christ are compromised 
because issues are not maturely 
addressed and talked through to a 
resolution. This process of resolv- 
ing issues is what the early Breth- 
ren referred to as seeking the mind 
of Christ. 

The second reason I raise this is- 
sue is that I believe our present 
position is not true to Scripture. I 
fear that our claim to being a peo- 
ple who base their doctrine and 
practice on Scripture above all else 
is being jeopardized. 

The third reason is that this is- 
sue is a matter of personal con- 
science for me. I will elaborate on 
these two points in the following 

Problems raised by our 
present practice 

For a number of reasons I have 
serious reservations about our pres- 
ent practice of requiring rebaptism 
of believers who were baptized by 
pouring or sprinkling. (I am speak- 
ing only of people who have been 
baptized after having confessed 
their faith in Jesus Christ as Sav- 
ior and Lord.) 

The biblical issue 

The first and most important 
reason for my reservations is the 
biblical problem with our position. 
All too often the most important 

consideration in this entire issue is 
given little attention: what is the 
theological meaning of baptism? 
What are we declaring, according 
to the Bible, when we baptize some- 
one? We need to begin here be- 
cause any specific form or action 
derives its significance from the 
truths it seeks to convey. I would 
ask each person reading this article 
to do his or her own study of the 
passages I cite, because as Breth- 
ren we affirm that our final author- 
ity for all questions of faith and 
practice is Scripture. 

Below are the main Scripture 
passages dealing with baptism and, 
as I understand it, the meaning of 
the act of baptism presented by 
each text. 

A. Matthew 28:19-20— The act 
of baptism should recognize each 
of the members of the Trinity (we 
draw our threefold action from this 
passage); baptism is the first part 
of the process of disciple-making. 

B. Mark 1:4 — Though referring to 
baptism by John the Baptist, this 
text emphasizes the connection 
between repentance and baptism 
(see Acts 2:38 also). 

C. John 3:5 — If this verse does 
allude to baptism (not all would 
agree that it does), it would tie 
baptism to entrance into the king- 
dom of God and associate baptism 
with the Spirit as well. 

D. Acts 2:38-39— This text has 
been important for the Brethren. It 
links baptism with repentance, be- 
lief in Jesus Christ, forgiveness of 
sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. 
(My purpose here is not to discuss 
the nature of the link between bap- 
tism and these other elements; that 
would require another article.) 

E. Romans 6:1-14 — In baptism 
the believer is identified with Christ 
in His death and resurrection; bap- 
tism also serves as the foundation 
for Christian ethics. 

F. 1 Corinthians 12:13 — Baptism 
in, with, or by the Spirit (as we 
have seen, baptism and the Spirit 
are often connected with one an- 
other in the New Testament) in- 
corporates us into one body; in this 
body all barriers that would divide 
or segregate God's people are bro- 
ken down. 

G. Ephesians 5:25-26 — We are 

made holy by the word's action in 
association with baptism (washing 
with water). 

H. Colossians 2:12 — Baptism 
portrays that we are buried and 
raised with Christ through faith. 

I. Titus 3:5 — Salvation involves 
renewal and regeneration through 
the Spirit, which are signified in 

Curent Brethren Position 
on Baptism 

"The mode of receiving new believ- 
ers into church membership is upon 
profession of faith in Jesus Christ, the 
Son of God, repentance, baptism by 
trine immersion, and confirmation by 
the laying on of hands. Local churches 
at their option may receive believers 
who reaffirm their faith in Jesus Christ 
as Savior, who have been previously 
baptized by believers' immersion and 
who evidence a personal faith and 
walk in Jesus Christ as Lord." 

— From A Manual of Procedure for The 
Brethren Church (emphasis added) 

J. 1 Peter 3:21 — Baptism is the 
pledge of a good conscience toward 
God; this pledge or expression of 
faith saves us because of Christ's 

Based on these texts we can sum- 
marize the New Testament teach- 
ing about baptism's meaning as 
follows: (1) only those who have re- 
pented and believed in Jesus Christ 
should be baptized; (2) baptism is 
a symbol of our burial and resur- 
rection with Christ; (3) baptism 
testifies to the activity of each 
member of the Trinity in the work 
of salvation; (4) God grants to the 
person expressing repentant faith 
in baptism His gifts of forgiveness, 
regeneration, and the Holy Spirit; 
(5) baptism by the Spirit incorpo- 
rates believers into the body of 
Christ, the church. 

If this is the meaning associated 
with the act of baptism in the New 
Testament, what is the meaning of 
baptism when we rebaptize people 
who have already been baptized as 
repentant believers? All of the bib- 
lical meaning of baptism has already 
been accomplished in their first bap- 
tism. No biblical meaning remains 
for a second believer baptism. 

Usually Brethren argue for re- 
baptism on the grounds that it is 

either the initiatory rite into local 
church membership or an act of 
obedience and submission to the 
proper form of baptism and thus 
necessary for affiliation with The 
Brethren Church. Are these mean- 
ings consistent with the New Tes- 
tament view of baptism? 

No passage in the New Testa- 
ment directly supports either of 
these interpretations. It may be ar- 
gued that 1 Corinthians 12:13 sug- 
gests that baptism incorporates a 
person into the church. But Paul 
indicates that this baptism by the 
Spirit incorporates all into Christ's 
one body; it destroys barriers be- 
tween believers. Clearly the empha- 
sis is on the unity created among 
believers because all have been 
baptized by the same Spirit. 

Two points arise from this pas- 
sage. First, though Paul's letter was 
written to the Corinthian church, 
the implication of Paul's argument 
is that baptism with the Spirit 
binds believers together with all 
other believers; every Christian is 
part of the universal church. Sec- 
ond, given Paul's insistence that 
this baptism destroys barriers among 
believers, it is ironic that we would 
erect a barrier in Christ's body be- 
cause someone was not baptized by 
the proper form. 

Likewise, John 3:5 may suggest 
that baptism is a door or entrance; 
but it provides entrance to the king- 
dom of God not the local church. 
As Jesus goes on to say in John 
3:15-16, belief in Him is what God 
desires of us. 

There is also a sense in which 
baptism is an act of obedience and 
submission. Invariably, however, 
the New Testament views it as an 
act of obedience in which one sub- 
mits to Christ in repentance, faith, 
and discipleship; it is never viewed 
as an act of submission necessary 
to meet the requirements for local 
church membership or affiliation 
with a denomination. 

To ask people who already have 
been baptized as repentant believ- 
ers to be rebaptized makes bap- 
tism into something other than 
what the New Testament says it 
is. In every case the New Testa- 
ment sees baptism as the dividing 
line between being a non-Christian 

The Brethren Evangelist 

and a Christian, between being a 
non-believer and a believer in Jesus 
Christ, between being outside of 
the blessings of the kingdom and 
being the recipient of God's gra- 
cious gifts. We lessen the signifi- 
cance of baptism if we change the 
New Testament meaning of the act 
to fit our practice of rebaptism. 

The distinction between 
principles and forms 

The second issue raised by our 
present practice relates to the dis- 
tinction between principles and 
forms. Principles are the essential 
biblical truths that must be believed 
regardless of culture. Forms are the 
outward expressions of these prin- 
ciples which tend to vary from cul- 
ture to culture (types of music, styles 
of worship, church architecture, etc.). 

Principles related to baptism are 
the New Testament teachings about 
the meaning of baptism we noted 
above. Forms find their significance 
as they convey the meaning of 
these principles. For this reason, I 
believe that trine immersion is the 
most appropriate form of baptism 
because it conveys most completely 
the meaning of baptism set forth 
in the New Testament. 

If, however, someone has been 
baptized in a way that is consis- 
tent with the New Testament sig- 
nificance of baptism, we should rec- 
ognize that person's baptism regard- 
less of form. We need to ask what 
is more crucial to God, recognizing 
an "improper" form when the prin- 
ciple of baptism has been fulfilled, 
or asking a person to observe the 
"proper" form but thereby denying 
the New Testament principle. 

Principles must always take prec- 
edence over forms. If they do not, 
we risk the dangers of ritualism, 
legalism, and bad theology. It bor- 
ders on sacramentalism to ascribe 
power to a particular form of bap- 
tism and then reject the validity of 
a baptism in which a person has 
truly confessed Jesus as saving Lord. 

There are some who would argue 
that the form or mode of immer- 
sion is ordained by the New Testa- 
ment because that is the literal 
meaning of the word "baptize." It is 
true that baptism does mean to 
immerse. But we also need to ask 

April 1995 

whether the early church recog- 
nized other forms of baptism, even 
though immersion was always the 
preference. Of special significance 
is the Didache, a Christian church 
manual from the late first or early 
second century. It reflects the think- 
ing of the church in the closing 
decades of the first century. In the 
instructions for baptism, this man- 
ual states: 

. . . baptize as follows: after you 
have reviewed all these things, 
baptize "in the name of the Father 
and of the Son and of the Holy 
Spirit" in running water. But if you 
have no running water, then bap- 
tize in some other water; and if 
you are not able to baptize in cold 
water, then do so in warm. But if 
you have neither, then pour water 
on the head three times "in the 
name of the Father and Son and 
Holy Spirit." 

Though immersion is clearly pre- 
ferred, the Didache still recognizes 
the validity of baptism by pouring. 
This document, which purports to 
be the teaching of the twelve apos- 
tles, indicates that the early church 
was, under certain circumstances, 
flexible enough to accept other 
forms of baptism as valid. 

Clearly, in the New Testament 
the emphasis is on the meaning of 
baptism (the principle), not on the 
form. We have no detailed instruc- 
tion anywhere in the New Testa- 
ment about how to administer bap- 
tism (the Didache is the earliest 
Christian document to do this). 

Our denomination's present posi- 
tion on baptism forces us to say, 
however, that the form of threefold 
immersion is more important than 
what the New Testament indicates 
baptism represents (the principle). 
If we are to be true to the empha- 
sis of Scripture, we need to recog- 
nize as valid the baptism, regard- 
less of form, of anyone who has been 
baptized upon confession of faith in 
Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. 

A historical issue 

The third issue raised by our pres- 
ent practice is an ironic historical 
situation. As Brethren, we derived 
the vast majority of our faith and 
practice from the Mennonites. Yet 
they are the only group among Be- 

lievers' Churches (denominations 
which baptize only those who have 
professed belief in Christ) whose 
people we require to be rebaptized. 
Ironically, we would receive people 
who were Seventh Day Adventists 
and Pentecostals without rebaptism, 
but not Mennonites. We need to be 
consistent in our treatment of those 
in our Believers' Church tradition. 
This may not be as compelling 
an argument as the previous points, 
but it is here that my own issue of 
conscience arose when I had to re- 
baptize a devout Mennonite couple 
at Smoky Row Brethren Church who 
had been baptized as believers by 
pouring. Such an act of rebaptism 
raises a significant issue. What are 
we saying about The Brethren 
Church when we openly welcome 
people with whom we share little 
doctrinally, and force those with 
whom we most agree to perform an 
act whose significance we cannot 
defend from Scripture? We must 
be saying that doctrine is less im- 
portant to us than proper form. This 
is again the dilemma we face when 
we place forms above principles. 

Where the true divide is 

The real divide for us as Breth- 
ren is between believer baptism and 
infant baptism, not immersion bap- 
tism and other forms. We define 
ourselves as a Believers' Church, 
as one that affirms that baptism is 
only for those who have confessed 
faith in Jesus Christ. Our baptis- 
mal practice should reflect this. To 
accept people into church member- 
ship who have been baptized by other 
forms of believer baptism is not 
another slide on the slippery slope 
to oblivion. It is the one and only 
continental divide that can be jus- 
tified by Scripture. Indeed, any- 
thing short of this is a slippery 
position because it forces us to try 
to stand firm on ground that is bib- 
lically unsound. 

Historically, the Brethren have 
been willing to allow Scripture to 
have the final word on all issues 
that confront us. I would ask all 
Brethren to do their biblical home- 
work and study what Scripture 
says baptism means. Together let 
us seek the mind of Christ on this 
question. [ft] 


Prayer: From Theory Into Practice 

By Carolyn Cooksey 

The final article in a series of four on Acts 2:42, 
the 1995 General Conference theme verse. 

thing seems to be a natural 
human activity. In our culture, 
which stresses independence and 
self-reliance, it is difficult to be de- 
voted. Yet all of us at one time or 
another have given our devotion to 
someone or something, be it a mate, 
children, friends, work, football, or 
music. The degree of devotion 
ranges from slight or halfhearted 
at one extreme to deep or whole- 
hearted dedication at the other. 

Examples of dedication 

As I write this, it is Super Bowl 
Sunday. People devoted to football 
have looked forward to this day for 
a year or more. Of course, those 
most devoted to the game are on 
the field. They not only under- 
stand the theory of football, but 
they also have practiced long and 
hard for this game. They are in- 
tensely focused, for they are well 
aware of the stakes involved. Each 
team member is giving all he has 
in order to perform well. Devotion 
to football is a national pastime in 
America today. 

I am devoted to music. Last night, 
much to my delight, the local sym- 
phony orchestra performed works 
by Mendelssohn and Brahms. Be- 
fore the performance, the conduc- 
tor introduced the audience to the 
composers — their lives and times 
— and to the stories behind their 
music. His enthusiastic understand- 
ing of the composers and their music 
and his belief in the ability of the 
musicians in the orchestra, com- 
bined with their dedication and 

Mrs. Cooksey is a member of the Ash- 
land Park Street Brethren Church; 
works at the Ashland University library; 
and serves on The Brethren Church's 
Spiritual Formation Commission. 


practice (both individually and col- 
lectively), resulted in an outstand- 
ing performance. Because the con- 
ductor and orchestra put theory into 
practice, the music communicated 
something to everyone in the audi- 
ence. The effect of the shared ex- 
perience was contagious! No one left 
the concert unaffected. 

In the Book of Acts, Luke tells us 
that the early Christians were de- 
voted to the apostles' teaching, to 
fellowship with one another, to re- 
membering Christ together, and to 
prayer (Acts 2:42). As difficult as it 
is to do so, let us for a moment try 
to step back into the shoes of the 
believers in the early church. Acts 
is the continued story of what Luke 
began in his Gospel. But in Acts, 
Luke no longer focuses on the earth- 
ly life of Jesus; rather, he gives us 
an inside glimpse of the life and 
work of the young church, its strug- 
gles and activities, as it learns to 
live and pray. Acts is permeated 
with prayer. 

Christian revolutionaries 

Outwardly, these early Chris- 
tians appeared to be very much 
like other ordinary people who 
raised families, worked, participated 
in community life, paid taxes, and 
lived as law-abiding and peaceful 
citizens of the Roman Empire. But 
in reality they were revolutionaries! 
They, unlike their non-Christian 
neighbors, were realizing the rad- 
ical changes resulting from life in 
the Spirit. 

These reborn believers were liv- 
ing in a new dimension. Each of 
them had experienced repentance, 
baptism, forgiveness, and the trans- 
forming presence and power of the 
Spirit. And love united them with 
one another. Transforming love 
was no longer an ideal; it was a 

reality. Life together in the Spirit 
created unity in the midst of their 
confusing political, social, and re- 
ligious upheaval. 

This early church gathered reg- 
ularly for common study. As they 
listened to the eyewitness accounts 
of the life of Jesus that were re- 
membered and retold by the apos- 
tles, their hearts and minds stirred 
with devotion. 

Uncommon devotion 

Uncommon devotion led to com- 
mon meals shared together. They 
cared for the physical needs of one 
another as they shared their food, 
their possessions, and their lives. 

Uncommon devotion to breaking 
of bread — remembering and re- 
enacting the meaning of Christ's 
life and death — provided for the 
needs of their souls and bound them 
together as the family of God, the 
body of believers Paul later describes. 

Uncommon devotion to prayer 
undergirded it all. During the week, 
they prayed by themselves, perhaps 
working and praying at the same 
time, meditating on the Psalms or 
on other prayers. Theory became 
practice as they studied, worshiped, 
and prayed together. The small, 
struggling group of original follow- 
ers grew to 120, then to a congre- 
gation of more than three thousand. 
Their love was contagious! People 
were drawn to them, and the church 
grew rapidly in a very short time. 

What is prayer? 

What is prayer? The word itself 
originally meant to "ask for." Each 
of us would define prayer differ- 
ently, and each definition would 
reflect our thinking, our practice, 
and our experience. For me, prayer 
is a constant awareness of God and 
a response to God's actions in my 

The Brethren Evangelist 

"Devotion to prayer sounds strange to modern ears, even to Chris- 
tians. We can understand devotion to people, to work, to sports, or 
to entertainment. But devotion to prayer?" 

life. Prayer begins with God. The 
human side of prayer is listening 
and seeking to hear and to respond 
to God's word. 

Prayer, like salvation, is not a 
totally human endeavor. Scripture 
reveals time and time again that 
our God is a seeking God. Just as 
God sent His Son to seek and to 
save, so God initiates a loving rela- 
tionship with each of us. Prayer is 
our response to God's steadfast 
love. It is an expression of our de- 
sire to welcome God into our lives 
and into the depths of our being. 
Prayer changes everything; it is 
the radical transforming power of 
God in our lives and in the world. 

What happens when we pray? 

What happens when we pray? As 
we grow in love and prayer, our 
relationship with God, with others, 
and with ourselves is profoundly 

When we pray, we experience 
God's love and abiding presence; we 
realize that God wants to be involved 
in our existence. We get to know 
God better and to love Him more. 
Prayer makes us more sensitive to 
God's ways, to the life and work of 
Jesus Christ, and to the empower- 
ing of the Spirit, who is working 
within us revitalizing our spirits. 

How amazing it is to realize that 
God desires to know us! God lis- 
tens, speaks, and enables us to know 
His presence and peace in the 
midst of all of life's circumstances. 
Through prayer we learn to think 
as God would have us think, love 
as God would have us love, and 
live as God would have us live. 

Prayer affects our relationships 
with others. Through prayer, we 
get to know others better and to 
love them more. We see them in a 
different light — as God sees them. 
Praying with others and for others 
connects us with others. We be- 
come actively involved in the lives 
of others. To pray is to love. 

April 1995 

When we pray for others we are 
embracing them as we hold them 
up to God's loving presence. We 
cannot help but feel love and con- 
cern for those for whom we pray. 
Prayer connects us with the body 
of believers, locally and worldwide. 
Like the early believers, we find 
unity in prayer. 

Prayer also affects our relation- 
ship with ourselves. Through prayer, 
we get to know ourselves better 
and to love ourselves more. Prayer 
increases our self-identity by help- 
ing us know more clearly who we 
are and what God requires of us — 
thus enabling us actually to become 
who and what we are intended to 
be. Our prayers form and shape our 
thoughts and actions. Inwardly we 
are growing in likeness to Christ, 
in love, in obedience to God, and in 
our sensitivity to the work of the 
Spirit in and around us. Outward- 
ly we are doing what God directs, 
helping to establish the kingdom of 
God and witnessing to others of 
the God who dwells within us. 

What must we learn? 

What must we Christians today 
learn from the devoted practices of 
the Christians in the early church? 
Luke says that they were devoted, 
but this was not a blind devotion. 
Rather, their eyes, ears, hearts, and 
minds were open in uncommon de- 
votion to God's truth, to fellowship 
with each other, to remembering 
and celebrating Christ's work of 
redemption, and to prayer. 

Devotion to prayer sounds strange 
to modern ears, even to Christians. 
We can understand devotion to peo- 
ple, to work, to sports, or to enter- 
tainment. But devotion to prayer? 
It makes us nervous. It is time for 
us to take a close look at our prac- 
tice of prayer. Many of us are un- 
disciplined people who do not pray. 
Most of us find it much easier to 
talk about God than to talk to God. 

Our excuses for not praying take 

precedence over our practice of 
prayer. Our hurried, disorganized, 
busy lives are not conducive to 
devoted praying. We would rather 
read books about prayer or listen 
to sermons or keep so busy that we 
don't have time to think about or 
talk with the God who made us, 
knows us, and loves us. Many con- 
scientious church-goers have not 
learned how to pray and are not 
praying. The practice of prayer is 
in crisis in many churches and in 
our world. 

What about us? 

Is lack of prayer a problem for us 
and for our churches? During the 
last few years leaders of The 
Brethren Church have emphasized 
prayer and have called us to pray. 
But what have been the results? 
Have we become radical revolution- 
aries? Are we infectious? Are peo- 
ple drawn to us? Is transforming 
love a reality among us? Is our de- 
nomination growing? 

According to a Gallup poll, nine 
out of ten Americans pray at least 
occasionally. What would happen 
if one out of ten were devoted to 
prayer? Every congregation has at 
least one "pray-er" whom others 
seek out in time of need. These 
people seldom get public recogni- 
tion, but their lives have such depth 
and their prayers are so authentic 
that we are blessed and inspired 
by their example. There should be 
more of them than these few. 

By devotion, we move from theory 
to practice. The Forty-Niners and 
the Chargers put their theories of 
football into practice. The sym- 
phony conductor and musicians 
used their theoretical knowledge of 
music to perform and communi- 
cate. Are we practicing what we 
know and believe? 

How do we get prayer from theory 
into practice? By praying! Be a rad- 
ical Christian devoted to prayer. We 
(continued on page 11) 




the Bible 

HOW do we know God? How can 
we, as finite human beings, 
know anything about One who is 
infinite? How can we physical 
creatures, grounded in time and 
space, know One who is Spirit and 
inhabits eternity? Left to our own 
resources, we wouldn't get very far. 
But instead of leaving us on our 
own, God has taken the initiative 
and has chosen to communicate 
with us. This self-communication by 
God is called revelation. Some as- 
pects of it are quite general, while 
others are very specific. 

General Revelation 

We can know something about 
God by studying the natural world. 
The psalmist says, 'The heavens 
declare the glory of God; the skies 
proclaim the work of his hands" 
(Ps. 19:1*). The creation tells us of 
God's "eternal power and divine na- 
ture" (Rom. 1:20). The order and 
beauty of the creation point to the 
existence of a powerful and divine 
Creator. God's providential care, 
shown in His regular provision of 
rain and crops, tells us something 
of His kindness (Acts 14:17). We 
can also learn something about God 
from human nature, because we are 
made in the image of God and have 
traces of God's moral law in our 
conscience (Gen. 1:27; Rom. 2:14-15). 

But the knowledge of God we get 

'Quotations from the Bible are from 
the New International Version. 

Dr. Colijn, a member of the Smoky 
Row Brethren Church in Worthington, 
Ohio, is an adjunct professor at Ash- 
land Theological Seminary. She chairs 
The Brethren Church's Committee on 
Doctrine, Research, and Publication, 
which is preparing this series of articles. 


Revelation and 
the Bible 

By Brenda B. Colijn 

from creation and human nature is 
only partial. We understand that 
there is a God who made the world 
and who has some qualities in com- 
mon with us. But this tells us little 
about God's character, and nothing 
at all about God's will for us or for 
the world. 

Our knowledge of God from crea- 
tion is also unreliable, because both 
nature and human beings are fallen 
(Rom. 8:20-23). Their original re- 
flection of God has been distorted 
by sin. Nevertheless, creation gives 
us enough information about a 
Creator that when we refuse to ac- 
knowledge that Creator, we are 
"without excuse" (Rom. 1:20). 

Specific Revelation 

God has also communicated with 
human beings more directly. Dur- 
ing the Old Testament period, God 
communicated through words and 
visions and through special experi- 
ences of His presence. God revealed 
His name to Moses during the en- 
counter at the burning bush (Ex. 
3:4-15). He gave the law to the peo- 
ple of Israel (Ex. 20:1; Ps. 147:19). 
He called and commissioned the 
prophets (Is. 6:1-13; Jer. 1:4-10) and 
then revealed His will to them so 
they could proclaim it to the people 
(Amos 3:7). Sometimes God's mes- 
sage came to the prophets through 

Correspondence Welcomed 

The members of the General Con- 
ference Executive Council's Commit- 
tee on Doctrine, Research, and Pub- 
lication invite readers to suggest topics 
or Bible passages to discuss in future 
articles in this column. Send ques- 
tions, comments, or suggestions to 
the committee in care of The Breth- 
ren Evangelist, 524 College Ave., 
Ashland, OH 44805. 

words and sometimes through 
visions (Hab. 2:2; Amos 7:1-9). 

God's revelation also came through 
events in history, such as the Ex- 
odus, the conquest of the promised 
land, and both the judgment and 
the restoration of Israel (Ex. 20:2; 
Josh. 24:2-14; Ezek. 6:1-10; Is. 60:15- 
16). Through these actions, God re- 
vealed His holy love for His people 
and His character as redeemer: 
Sing to the Lord a new song, 

for he has done marvelous things; 
his right hand and his holy arm 
have worked salvation for him. 
The Lord has made his salvation 
and revealed his righteousness to 
the nations. Ps. 98:1-2 

But God was most fully revealed 
in the incarnation, life, death, and 
resurrection of Jesus Christ. In 
Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, 
who is God, was made flesh (John 
1:1, 14). Jesus revealed God's char- 
acter and will in a way never before 
possible: "No one has ever seen God, 
but God the One and Only, who is 
at the Father's side, has made him 
known" (John 1:18). Jesus is "the 
image of the invisible God" in 
whom "all the fullness of the Deity 
lives in bodily form" (Col. 1:15; 2:9). 
He revealed God through His per- 
son (John 14:9-10), through His 
deeds (John 5:36; 14:11), and through 
His words (John 6:68; 17:8). So de- 
cisive and exclusive is this revela- 
tion in Christ that people cannot 
truly know God unless Jesus reveals 
God to them (Luke 10:22). 

Revelation and Scripture 

God's revelation through word, 
deed, and incarnation is recorded 
for us in Scripture. For example, 
Moses wrote down God's law (Ex. 
24:4), and the prophets or their 

The Brethren Evangelist 

"In a day when we hear many claims of revelations about God from 
cults, New Age groups, and world religions, we can test all of these 
claims by the standard of God's perfect revelation in Jesus Christ as 
it is recorded in Scripture." 

disciples wrote down God's mes- 
sages to preserve them (Is. 30:8; 
Jer. 30:1-2; 36:4). The New Testa- 
ment writers researched, recorded 
eyewitness testimony, and testified 
personally to God's supreme rev- 
elation in Christ (Luke 1:1^4; John 
21:24; Gal. 1:12; 1 John 1:1-3). They 
tell us that they did not record all 
of God's revelation through Christ 
(John 20:30; 21:25). But they re- 
corded all that we need to make us 
"wise for salvation through faith in 
Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 3:15; see also 
John 20:31). 

Because of its critical role in pre- 
senting God's revelation to us, the 
Bible is our only reliable source for 
knowing God and understanding 
His will. As the Holy Spirit convicts 
us of its truth and guides us in un- 
derstanding it, the Bible establishes 
the framework within which all rev- 
elation must be understood (John 
15:26; 16:13-14; 1 Cor. 2:12-16). No 
other genuine source of information 
about God will contradict what Scrip- 
ture affirms. 

Qualities of Biblical 

God's revelation in Scripture has 
four important qualities. First, it is 
historical. It tells us of God's acts in 
history to redeem a people for His 
own glory. It thus involves histori- 
cal events which cannot be denied 
without destroying the basis of our 
faith (1 Cor. 15:13-18). 

Second, revelation is proposition- 
al — that is, it involves truths to be 
believed (John 17:17). In order to 
receive the salvation God has ac- 
complished for us, we must believe 
certain things about God and about 
Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Heb. 

Third, revelation is personal. It 
reveals not just information but a 
Person, and its object is to bring us 
into personal relationship with God 
through His Son Jesus Christ (John 
1:18; 17:3). 

Fourth, revelation is progressive. 
It develops through the Old Testa- 

ment and comes to a climax in Jesus 
Christ: "In the past God spoke to 
our forefathers through the proph- 
ets at many times and in various 
ways, but in these last days he has 
spoken to us by his Son, whom he 
appointed heir of all things, and 
through whom he made the universe" 
(Heb. 1:1-2; see also Col. 1:25-27). 


What does this idea of revelation 
mean for us as believers? It means 
that we have a reliable source of 
information about God in the Bible. 
Whenever we have questions about 
God, Scripture can be our trust- 
worthy guide. Furthermore, in a day 
when we hear many claims of rev- 
elations about God from cults, New 
Age groups, and world religions, we 
can test all of these claims by the 
standard of God's perfect revelation 
in Jesus Christ as it is recorded in 

If we sometimes feel that God is 
silent, we can remember that He 
spoke the decisive word to us in 

Jesus Christ. In the life, teaching, 
death, and resurrection of Jesus — 
all accomplished for us — God said 
everything that ever needs to be 
said. God has revealed to us every- 
thing we need to know for salvation 
and growth in Christlikeness. God's 
revelation may not answer all our 
questions, but it gives us all that 
we really need. We can know and 
love God because He knew and loved 
us first (1 John 4:7-10, 19; John 3:16). 
Our understanding of God's rev- 
elation should lead us to thanksgiv- 
ing and worship, as we praise the 
great and holy God who loved us so 
much that He sent us His Son: 

Great and marvelous are your deeds, 

Lord God Almighty. 
Just and true are your ways, 

King of the ages. 
Who will not fear you, O Lord, 

and bring glory to your name? 
For you alone are holy. 
All nations will come 

and worship before you, 
for your righteous acts have been 
revealed. Rev. 15:3b-4 [ir] 

Prayer: Theory to Practice 

(continued from page 9) 
learn to pray by praying. Start 
where you are; ask God to give 
you a heart for prayer; and pray 
as God leads. God honors prayers 
that are full of faith as well as 
our doubt-filled cries of fear and 
frustration. Prayer can be sim- 
ple — "Please," "Sorry," 'Thank 
You," "Help, Lord!" or "I love 
You!" — or more profound. Prayer 
can be shouted or silent; with 
laughter or tears; a cry from the 
heart in the midst of crisis or a 
glow from the soul while abiding 
in His presence and peace. 

Each of us can find our own 
way of praying; each of us can 
discover forms of prayer that are 
unique to our personalities and 
circumstances. Come as you are 
to God and pray. Even if you don't 
feel like it, pray. If you are tired, 

pray. If you don't know what 
your are doing, pray. Busy? Pray. 
Angry? Pray. Happy? Pray. Hurt- 
ing? Pray. Find your own unique 
way to pray and use it. Let 
prayer bring out the best in you. 
Prayer affects everything we 
are and do. It leads us into the 
world to do ministry. If we are 
devoted to prayer, our lives will 
reflect it. Be a learner in the life 
of prayer. Please join in this life- 
long spiritual quest. Pray with 
total involvement, total aban- 
donment. Pray believing that 
God is present, for He is. Pray 
knowing your prayers are heard 
and answered, for they are. Pray 
boldly, persistently, with your 
whole being. This kind of prayer — 
offered with heart, soul, mind, 
strength, and in the Spirit — is 
radical, revolutionary. Be de- 
voted to prayer! [ft] 


April 1995 


Brethren World Relief 

By Your Gifts, You Are There 

World Relief Corporation (WRC) of the National Association of Evangelicals 
is at work in many areas of the world doing relief and development work. By 
your gifts to Brethren World Relief, you are there too, helping to alleviate 
human suffering in the name of Christ. 


With Virgin Forest Gone, 
Farmers Turn to the Soil 

"TT WAS definitely different here 

-Lwhen I first came," remembers 
Mariano Benavides, who has lived 
in the frontier community of Los 
Chiles in Nicaragua's southern 
Rio San Juan province for 25 years. 
There was quite a bit of forest. 
The soil was fertile. There was a 
lot more rain, and it was cooler." 

Mariano takes a break from 
digging ditches. For more than a 
year he has worked for World Re- 
lief as an agricultural promoter, 
organizing groups of farmers to 
learn new farming methods that 
slowly replenish unproductive soil 
so additional forested land doesn't 
have to be cleared. Mariano cur- 
rently works with about 88 farm- 
ers in six groups. 

"I know all the deforestation 
and land burning has contributed 
to the weather changes. I used to 
get 31-36 bushels of beans per 
acre each harvest, but now I just 
get 8-10 in some areas." 

At the request of rural churches, 
World Relief designed a five-year 
program to change community 


Because of World Reliefs long 
commitment to Mozambique and 
its outstanding track record of 
providing help to the poor, the 
United Nations High Commis- 
sioner for Refugees asked World 
Relief to deliver more than $1.1 
million in seed packs for strug- 
gling farmers. These seed packs, 
delivered in December, are bene- 
fiting more than 275,000 people 
at a cost of just $5.34 each. [ft] 

farming practices to 
halt the destruction 
of the rain forest, re- 
establish tree cover, 
and increase the 
farmer's crop yields 
and marketing skills. 

Church leaders also 
saw an opportunity for 
evangelical churches 
to teach their people 
how to help others in 
practical ways. As a 
result, many of the 
agricultural promot- 
ers are Christians 
who, in the words of 
Freddy Zamoran, di- 
rector of the social 
development arm of 
Central America Mis- 
sion (CAM) in Nicara- 
gua, feel "the social 
problems of our peo- 
ple in our own flesh." 

While the main ob- 
jective of promoters is 
not to evangelize, Zamoran reports 
that people are coming to Christ. 
This, for me," he says, "is one of the 
strongest points of our program." 

In Nueva Guinea and Rio San 
Juan, agricultural promoters are 
teaching 2,000 farmers to prevent 
soil erosion by digging ditches and 
planting harvestable bushes that 
prevent soil nutrients from wash- 
ing away. 

The farmers whom promoters 
reach would not necessarily iden- 
tify destruction of the rain forest 
urgent issue, but they do 

as an 

know they are becoming even 
poorer through present farming 
practices. When land is cleared 
by burning, farmers get a suit- 
able harvest, but at the expense 
of taking nutrients from the soil. 

Digging absorption ditches to reduce runoff of 
water, in Rio San Juan, Nicaragua. 

So by the third year, the land's 
productivity is significantly re- 
duced and farmers, feeling pres- 
sure to feed their families, must 
often move to new land. 

At the current rate of deforesta- 
tion, the rain forest in Nicaragua 
will be gone by the year 2020. De- 
forestation and the resulting in- 
ability of the land to retain water 
leads to increasing cycles of flood- 
ing, drought, and desertification, 
as is happening in some parts of 
Honduras and El Salvador. 

Today Mariano shows farmers 
how to dig catchments along the 
land's contours to prevent torren- 
tial rains from washing away prec- 
ious top soil. Non-traditional crops 
like coconut palms, pineapple, or 
cacao trees will be planted to 


The Brethren Evangelist 

stabilize the soil. Velvet bean, 
new to most farmers, will be 
planted and its growth turned 
over into the soil to replenish lost 
nutrients. Traditional crops of 
rice, bean, and corn will then be 
planted between the ditches. 

Jenoa Castellon Laguna is a 
Rio San Juan farmer who remem- 
bers forest so thick that "people 
used to get lost trying to come 
here." Now, forest is nowhere to 
be seen from Jenoa's home. He 
has planted lemongrass, coconut 
palms, and pineapple along the 
higher side of the ditches he dug. 
Lemongrass also acts as a natu- 
ral insecticide. The pineapple and 
coconut can be used as cash crops 
or as food to feed his family. 

Farmers like Jenoa know their 
labor is also a future investment. 
"I know I won't be around to en- 
joy the coconuts," the 93-year-old 
farmer says. "But maybe my grand- 
kids will enjoy them. I'm trying to 
set a good example for them, so 
they'll want to work hard too." [ft] 

Changing Lives in Croatia 

For many years, Romana — the 
librarian of an elementary 
school in Croatia — described 
herself as an atheist, then as an 
agnostic. Her feelings toward 
God changed recently, however, 
as the result of a ministry spon- 
sored by World Relief and a local 
Baptist church. 

World Relief provided funds so 
the school could provide balanced 
meals to school children each day. 
When Romana saw that the 
local Baptist church was World 
Reliefs partner, she said, "Now I 
am seeing the church in action; 
it is now becoming part of my 
life in a very practical sense." She 
has turned her life over to Christ, 
and a local pastor, Toma Magda, 
reports that she is considering 
the serious matter of baptism. 

Pastor Magda says such minis- 
tries are valuable. "The city and 
education officials are taking note 
[that] we do not just care for our 
own small minority, but we have 
the care of the whole community 
in our hearts. And that to us is 
the gospel in its fullness!" [ft] 

World Relief Continues Aid to Rwanda 

World Relief, one of the first 
agencies to become involved in 
relief work to Rwandans follow- 
ing last year's violence and mass 
exodus of refugees from that coun- 
try, continues to provide critically 
needed aid to Rwandan refugees. 

Partnering with the Free Meth- 
odist Church of Rwanda, World 
Relief is providing food for 306 or- 
phans in Kibogora until June 30, 
when the Free Methodist Church 
plans to assume responsibility. 

World Relief is restoring Kibo- 
gora Hospital and five clinics that 
were looted and reestablishing 
the services of vaccinations, pre- 
natal care, and care to children 
under five — treating potentially 
fatal illnesses like diarrhea. The 

hospital and clinics are operated 
by the Free Methodist Church of 

Across the border, in Bukavu, 
Zaire, World Relief continues to 
feed 1,000 Rwandan refugees who 
fled there last July. The food dis- 
tribution is being done in coopera- 
tion with World Relief Canada and 
the Free Methodist Church. 

World Relief leaders are also 
calling for focused prayer for 
peace in Rwanda and in the 
neighboring country of Burundi. 
Rwanda remains a wounded na- 
tion in the aftermath of the bru- 
tal violence that erupted last 
year. Meanwhile, Burundi, with the 
same ethnic mix as Rwanda, is 
suffering escalating violence, [ft] 

Becoming Partners in Malawi 

"We don't want to be donors, 
but partners," reports Laura 
van Vuuren, World Relief's 
country Director in Malawi (SE 
Africa). World Reliefs partner- 
ship with local churches goes 
beyond providing such things 
as food and clothing; World Re- 
lief also helps churches begin to 
solve their problems on their own. 

Churches are teaching people 
in their communities to im- 
prove their lives by planting 
drought-resistant crops, con- 
serving water and saving for 

the future. "The church is the 
catalyst for change at the com- 
munity level," says van Vuuren. 
"We want to equip them with 
skills that change people's at- 
titude to start helping them- 

Churches are learning that 
helping others opens many 
doors to evangelism. 'The 
church is the answer to their 
long-term problems, because 
the only hope for Africa is if the 
people reach out in love to one 
another," said van Vuuren. [ft] 

April 1995 


Brethren World Relief 

Our Gifts to World Relief Corporation 

Are Appreciated! 

At the end of each month, offer- 
ings for World Relief that have been 
received at the National Office from 
Brethren churches during that 
month are forwarded on to World 
Relief Corporation to be used in 
WRC's ongoing relief and develop- 
ment work. These gifts are always 
acknowledged with a note of appre- 
ciation from Dr. Arthur Gay, presi- 
dent of World Relief Corporation. 
Here is one such note, which was 
received during the past year. 

Dear Brethren, 

Thank you for your generous gift 
of $2,647.64 to World Relief. Your 
gift makes it possible for Chris- 
tians around the world to reach 
out to their neighbors with physi- 
cal help in times of suffering — and 
[with] hope in Christ for eternal 
life and joy. 

I am often asked, "How do you 
keep from being overwhelmed 
when you see all the suffering in 
the world?" That's a fair question; 
every day in the newspapers and 
on TV, we see people in need . . . 
in the former Yugoslavia, in the 
African nations of Burundi and 
Rwanda . . . and yes, even in the 
United States. 

Matthew gives us this picture of 
Jesus: "When He saw the crowds, 
He had compassion on them, be- 
cause they were harassed and 
helpless . . . ." The Living Bible 
paraphrases that verse as: "And 
what pity He felt for the crowds 
that came, because their problems 
were so great and they didn't know 
what to do or where to go for help" 
(9:36). Christ was concerned, but 
never overwhelmed ... I desire to 
be like Jesus. 

Because you, too, are moved 
with compassion, people in 28 
countries — including our own na- 
tion — can turn to their local evan- 
gelical church for help. World 

Relief is equipping their 
Christian neighbors to re- 
spond with compassion 
and practical solutions to 
the poverty and suffering 
that breaks down even the 
strongest family. 

Because of your gift to 
World Relief, a life may be 
eternally changed. Please 
pray with me that God will 
bless this ministry and use 
it for His honor and glory. 
God bless you! 

With gratitude, 
Art Gay 

At right, Dr. Arthur Gay 
with a Rwanda child, in a 
photo taken earlier this year. 

The World Relief Open Hands Award was presented to Brethren Church 
representative Ronald W. Waters (c.) on March 6 in Louisville, Ky., at the 
annual convention of the National Association of Evangelicals. The award was 
presented to The Brethren Church by Dr. John H White (I.), chairman of the 
World Relief board, and Dr. Art Gay, president of World Relief, in recognition 
of the funds the denomination contributed to World Relief in the past year to 
alleviate human suffering in the name of Christ around the world. 


The Brethren Evangelist 

Brethren World Relief 

World Relief Awareness and 
Fund-Raising Ideas 

DURING the World Relief 
luncheon at the 1994 General 
Conference, those who attended 
were asked to share ways their 
churches have used to raise aware- 
ness of World Relief ministries as 
well as ways they have raised funds 
for those ministries. Following is 
a compilation of their responses. 

Many commented on the value 
of materials sent out by World 
Relief Corporation (WRC) of the 
National Association of Evangeli- 
cals. World Relief Corporation 
provides posters and bulletin in- 
serts and offers videos on its 
work in various countries. The 
WRC publications Touching and 
Partnership Update also commu- 
nicate needs and how World Re- 
lief is helping to meet those needs. 
Several people noted using offer- 
ing bags, banks, lunch buckets, 
or Love Loaves (a World Vision 
item) for a World Relief emphasis 
over a four- to six- week period in 

Including World Relief needs in 

Rev. Garner, pastor of the Elkhart, 
Ind., First Brethren Church, emceed 
the 1994 World Relief luncheon. 

Compiled by Timothy Garner 

the sermon or morning prayer 
and using available Sunday 
school curriculum from WRC 
proved helpful to some. 

Money for World Relief has 
been raised through garage sales, 
baked-goods sales, a chili supper, 
a silent auction of homemade 
goodies and craft items, a walk-a- 
thon, a rock-a-thon, and a CROP- 
walk with part of the money 
designated for WRC. Two un- 
usual ideas included using seed 
money to fix a meal and then re- 
ceiving a special offering from 
those who ate the meal; and giv- 
ing people $5 to $10 and asking 
them to use it in such a way as to 
make a profit for World Relief 

Food for the Soul 
Also Inequitably Distributed 

Each year the gospel is pre- 
sented some 95 times per every 
person on earth. This seems an 
incredible evangelistic feat until 
one realizes that the overwhelm- 
ing majority of these offers are 
made in the Christian world. 
The "distribution ... is as bad as 
the world distribution of food, 
water, medicine, shelter, and 
other human rights," according 
to David B. Barrett, contributing 
editor for International Bulletin 
of Missionary Research. 

(like the Parable of the Talents). 

Special-offering ideas included 
children's Sunday school or VBS 
offerings for World Relief; giving 
a tithe of a tithe to World Relief; 
receiving a "fifth Sunday" offering 
for World Relief; or having a con- 
tainer at home and/or at church in 
which to throw loose change, with 
the money going to World Relief. 

Other ideas were putting World 
Relief in the church budget, and/ 
or taking a monthly offering for 
World Relief as a reminder of the 
ongoing need and two crisis offer- 
ings a year to meet the crisis na- 
ture of World Relief ministry. 

Which of these ideas can 
your church use? [D"] 

An Accounting of Our Stewardship 

Brethren gave a total of 
$80,358 for World Relief in 1994. 
That's a 12 percent increase over 
the $71,828 given in 1993. But it 
was $8,119 less than was given 
in 1992. 

Forty-nine churches gave more 
than the suggested Fair Share of 
$6 per "member,"* while 68 
churches gave less than their 
Fair Share, with 21 of those giv- 

ing nothing at all. The positive 
side of the last figure is that ten 
churches that gave nothing in 
1993 did contribute in 1994, giv- 
ing a total of $708.90. [ft] 

Top Churches in Tota 


1 . St. James 


2. Winding Waters 


3. Smithville 


4. Jefferson 


5. Goshen 


6. Park Street 


7. South Bend 


8. Brighton Chapel 


9. New Lebanon 


10. Milledgeville 


Top Churches 

in Percentage 

of Increase from 1993 to 1994* 

1. Sarasota 


2. Drushal 

1 ,567% 

3. Nappanee 


4. Mt. Olivet 


5. Mexico 


'Excluding those that 

jave nothing in 1993 

•Actually $6 per Church Growth Index point. 
A congregation's Church Growth Index is calcu- 
lated by adding its membership, average wor- 
ship attendance, and average Sunday school 
attendance, then dividing by three. 

Top Churches in 

Fair Share Percentage 

1. Mt. Olivet 


2. St. Petersburg 


3. Stockton 


4. Sergeantsville 


5. South Bend 


6. Mexico 


7. Bethlehem 

381 % 

8. Brighton Chapel 


9. Teegarden 

341 % 

10. North Georgetown 


April 1995 




I ! 

Park Street's new Family Life Center. The small building at the left (attached to 
the Family Life Center) was formerly the parsonage but now houses the church 
offices. The building containing the sanctuary is behind the office building. The 
Christian education building (not visible) is behind the Family Life Center. 

Ashland Park Street Church Dedicates 
New Family Life Center on March 26th 

Ashland, Ohio — Members and friends 
of the Ashland Park Street Brethren 
Church dedicated the church's new Fam- 
ily Life Center on Sunday afternoon, 
March 26. 

The dedication program was part of a 
day of activities at the church facility 
that also included two morning worship 
services (total attendance 481); Sunday 
school; the congregation's first fellow- 
ship meal in the new Family Life Center 
(attendance approximately 340); a time 
for recreation and continued fellowship 
in the Family Life Center; and, in the 

Park Street pastor Dr. Arden Gilmer 
(l.) expresses his appreciation to Mod- 
erator Jim Hess for his leadership and 
labor during the planning and building 
of the church's Family Life Center. 


evening, ministry meetings, youth and 
children's activities, and an inquirers 
class and an evangelism study. 

Dr. Arden E. Gilmer, senior pastor of 
the congregation, was in charge of the 
dedication program. He made com- 
ments emphasizing the purpose of the 
new building (ministry) and express- 
ing his appreciation to those who had 
made the building possible, noting par- 
ticularly the leadership and labors of 
Jim Hess, the church's moderator (who 
received a standing ovation from the 

Moderator Hess then reviewed the 
process of planning and constructing 
the building and led the congregation in 
expressing appreciation to the various 
committees and individuals who had 
worked to bring the project to comple- 
tion. He noted especially the untiring 
efforts of Park Street member Tim 
Shultz, who served as the chair of the 
construction committee. 

Dr. Charles Munson, a member and 
highly regarded elder of the Park Street 
congregation, presented dedicatory re- 
marks. Then Rev. Ronald W. Waters, 
Director of Denomination Ministries, led 
the congregation in offering prayers of 
dedication for the building. The dedica- 
tion program also included special mu- 
sic by Kingdom Kids, Reveille (a mixed 
vocal ensemble), and the church choir. 

The new 92- by 120-foot, cement-block 
building features a stucco and brick ex- 
terior. Central to the building is a 65- by 
79-foot multi-purpose room, which will 
serve as a fellowship hall, gymnasium, 
and auditorium for special programs, 
children's plays, and other large-group 

activities. The building also houses a 
spacious kitchen, a banquet room for 
smaller groups when the entire fellow- 
ship hall is not needed (which can also 
be divided and made into two class- 
rooms), up to eight additional class- 
rooms, restrooms, and storage areas. 
Total cost of the building is approxi- 
mately $950,000. 

The goal of the congregation is to have 
the building in use seven days a week 
for church activities, after-school activi- 
ties for neighborhood children, outreach 
ministries, recreation, etc., all as a means 
of ministry to the congregation and to 
the community. 

On Sunday, April 2, an afternoon open 
house in the Family Life Center was 
held for people of the community. And 
on Palm Sunday the congregation will 
hold its first Communion service in the 
new facility. This will be the first time 
in many years that the congregation 
will be able to meet together in one 
Communion service. 

— reported by Dick Winfield 

Ordination of Milton Robinson 
Reaffirmed at Oak Hill Church 

Oak Hill, W. Va. — Following approval 
by the Board of Spiritual Oversight of 
the Southeastern District, the former 
ordination of Rev. Milton Robinson as a 
Brethren elder was reaffirmed during a 
service on February 26 at the Oak Hill 
First Brethren Church. 

Rev. Robinson served as pastor of the 
Oak Hill Church 
from 1953 to 1957 
and later pastored 
the Manteca, Calif., 
(now Northgate) 
Brethren Church. 
But he was out of 
pastoral ministry in 
The Brethren Church 
for a number of 
years, during which 
he taught school and 
served in churches of 
other denominations. 
He spent those years in California. 

A widower, he recently married Lois 
Hall, an Oak Hill native, and they re- 
turned to Oak Hill, where they are now 
active in the First Brethren Church. 

At the service on February 26 during 
which his ordination was reaffirmed, he 
said that he is a Brethren because it is 
the only church he has been in where he 
has had the opportunity to obey every 
command given by Christ. 

— reported by R. Rogusky 

The Brethren Evangelist 

Rev. Milton 


Participants in Church Planting Summit Excited 
About Church Planting in The Brethren Church 

Ashland, Ohio — A growing excite- 
ment about church planting in The 
Brethren Church was evident at the 
Church Planting Summit held Thurs- 
day, March 16, at Park Street Brethren 
Church in Ashland. 

Attending the gathering were repre- 
sentatives from every district mission 
board in The Brethren Church; mem- 
bers of the New Church Development 
Commission; Rev. Russell Gordon, Di- 
rector of U.S. Ministries and Church 
Growth for the national Missionary 
Board; and Rev. Ronald W. Waters, Di- 
rector of Brethren Church Ministries. 

The summit opened with devotions by 
Rev. Gordon followed by an introduction 
to the gathering by Dr. Dale Stoffer, 
chair of the New Church Development 
Commission. In his remarks, Dr. Stoffer 
emphasized that though participants in 
the summit came from the various far- 
flung districts of The Brethren Church, 
"We're in this together." He went on to 
note that there is a growing sense of 
working together in church planting in 
The Brethren Church, with districts 
sharing with one another both financial 
and human resources. 

Dr. Stoffer went on to list seven cru- 
cial areas of need for church planting in 
The Brethren Church, as identified by 
the commission. They are (1) personnel 
(a national person just for church plant- 
ing); (2) finances; (3) calling and train- 
ing of church planters; (4) construction 
of buildings; (5) coordination of efforts 
and resources; (6) development of a phi- 
losophy of ministry for church planting; 
and (7) demographic work. 

He noted with regret that many 
Brethren churches are caught up in self- 
preservation and have no climate for 
church extension. This is unfortunate 
since, as he also noted, growing church- 
es are, for the most part, those that are 
looking beyond their own four walls. 

Present district projects 

Next a representative from each dis- 
trict mission board shared what that 
district is now doing in church planting. 
Each district reported that it is either 
now planting a new church or churches 
or is in the process of making plans for 
church extension. 

Current projects of particular note in- 
clude STAKE (Saturation of the Target 
Area for Kingdom Extension) in Flor- 
ida, which recently held an action plan- 
ning retreat; the new Brethren Church 
of Medina, which began in November 

and is now running nearly 60 for Sun- 
day morning worship; an increase in the 
number and size of "cells" (small groups) 
in Greenwood, Ind., and the start of 
Sunday meetings in a couple of loca- 
tions; a new Bible study in Catalina, 
Ariz.; and plans for a church planting 
effort to begin in late summer in the 
Northern California District. 

Following the viewing of a video, The 
Power of Vision, participants shared 
short-term and long-term visions for 
church planting in their districts. Some 
of the possibilities mentioned were: 

District visions 

Northern California — a multi- 
church outreach to begin later this year, 
plus one or two Filipino works in the 
Stockton area. 

Southwest — classes in Catalina and 
Benson, Ariz., and Hispanic outreaches 
in Tucson in the short term, plus a re- 
turn to the Phoenix area in five to ten 

Midwest — find a third tentmaker 
family and a pastor in order to begin the 
planned outreach in Denver, and a de- 
sire to begin a church in Wichita. 

Central — do demographic work in 
towns in the Rockford, 111., area, with 
the goal of planting one or two churches 
in five to ten years. 

Indiana — by the year 2,000 to have 
trained 14 church planters and to have 
started 15 new Brethren Satellite In- 
digenous Congregations (S.I.C.) in the 
greater Indianapolis area; in the five 
years to follow that, continue to train 
leaders and birth new S.I.C.'s; build a 
large worship center in the Indianapolis 
area to host area-wide celebrations and 
outreach events; and target other urban 
centers in Indiana, other districts, and 
around the world. 

Ohio — begin planting a church in the 
Columbus-Delaware area in three years 
in cooperation with Ashland Theologi- 
cal Seminary and the Smoky Row 
Brethren Church; begin another church 
in six years in cooperation with the 

Florida — four phases of STAKE are 
projected: the current one in Orlando, a 
second one in Orlando beginning in Au- 
gust 1996, one in Tampa to begin in 
1998, and one in the Sarasota-Venice 
(and south) area in the year 2000. 

Southeastern — churches in this dis- 
trict are looking to start new churches 
in their own areas as an extension of 
Passing On the Promise. Possibilities 

mentioned were the southern part of 
Hagerstown, Md.; Westminster, Md.; 
and Washington, D.C. 

Pennsylvania — Butler and Pitts- 
burgh are being considered as possible 
areas in which to start new churches, 
with the possibility of an African- 
American work in Pittsburgh. 

Following this vision-sharing, Rev. 
Ron Waters, Director of Brethren Min- 
istries, talked about some principles 
related to the theory and practice of 
church planting. He noted three stages 
of church planting: (1) stagnation — the 
church is a well-oiled machine but noth- 
ing is happening; (2) shotgun — a lot of 
efforts are made but without focus and 
direction; (3) system — a wholistic and 
integrated plan made up of individual 
components. Rev. Waters said that our 
emphasis in church planting should not 
be on just starting individual congrega- 
tions, but on developing "productive ca- 
pacity" which can be used in producing 
churches in many different places 

The summit continued with a discus- 
sion of what resources are needed and 
what are currently available. Some of 
the needs mentioned were for addi- 
tional training; a change in attitude 
about outreach and church planting in 
churches; better communication about 
what we are doing and why; a "human 
resource center" of people who are will- 
ing, available, and have the skills to 
help in various ways in church planting 
(e.g., Sunday school teachers, builders, 
V.B.S. teachers, etc.). 

The summit concluded with a discus- 
sion of the question, "Where do we go 
from here?" followed by an extended time 
of prayer. Participants agreed that a 
church-planting summit should be an 
annual event and that this year's gath- 
ering was a time of mutual encourage- 
ment. The summit concluded with par- 
ticipants indicating a growing convic- 
tion that God is going to do something 
great through The Brethren Church 
and a willingness to risk in order to be 
a part of what God is going to do. 

— reported by Dick Winfield 

Our society requires 17 years of edu- 
cation before certifying a person to teach 
in public school. Medical doctors and 
psychologists must have 20 years of 
schooling before they practice on your 
children. And many states require teen- 
agers to take a course in driver's educa- 
tion before they can be licensed to drive 
a car. But to rear children from the cra- 
dle to their twenties, our society doesn't 
require one hour of formal training. 

— Dr. Bruce Narramore in Help! I'm 
a Parent (Zondervan, 1995) 

April 1995 



Ronald W. Waters Resigning as DBCM 
To Teach Evangelism at the Seminary 


Ashland, Ohio — Ronald W. Waters 
has tendered his resignation as Direc- 
tor of Brethren Church Ministries, ef- 
fective June 1, 1996, to become assis- 
tant professor of evangelism at Ashland 
Theological Seminary. 

The resignation by Waters was part 
of a "Proposal for a Cooperative Effort 
in Evangelism Between Ashland Theo- 
logical Seminary and The Brethren 
Church" presented by the seminary to 
the General Conference Executive 
Council (GCEC) at its March 17 meet- 
ing. Under the terms of the proposal, 
which was adopted by GCEC, beginning 
September 1, 1996, Waters will carry a 
three-quarter time teaching load in 
evangelism and church growth at the 
seminary and serve the denomination 
one-quarter time as staff in evangelism 
and church growth. 

During the 1996-1997 year, the sem- 
inary will provide three-fourths of his 
salary and benefits, with the denomina- 
tion providing the rest. In 1997-1998 
and thereafter, the seminary will pro- 
vide his entire salary and benefits but 
will still loan Waters back to the church 
for one-quarter of his time. The church 
will provide funding for his travel and 
also for materials related to denomina- 
tional evangelism work. 

Waters, who has served as Director of 
Brethren Church Ministries since July 
1989, has been working part time since 
September 1993 while pursuing a Doc- 
tor of Missiology degree at Asbury Theo- 
logical Seminary. He will resume full- 
time status June 1, 1995, and continue 
in full-time employment until June 1, 

Ronald W. Waters 

1996. From 
June 1 to 
August 31, 
1996, he 
will be em- 
ployed at 
salary in 
the area of 
and church 

In his let- 
ter of resig- 
nation, Wa- 
ters said 
that he was 

resigning with mixed emotions. "I am 
excited about the new challenge of 
teaching and of the possibility of con- 
tinuing to work with Brethren congre- 
gations in evangelism and church 
growth. At the same time, I am sad to 
be leaving the leadership role GCEC 
called me to nearly six years ago. 

"I have been humbled to be entrusted 
with this responsibility. As with any 
position, this one has had its share of 
joys and frustrations. But I have not 
regretted accepting the position and 
have clearly sensed God's validation of 
my call to it." 

GCEC did not discuss the process for 
finding a successor for Waters in this 
meeting. The National Leadership 
Council (composed of the General Con- 
ference moderator, moderator-elect, 
past moderator, the Director of Breth- 
ren Church Ministries, and both the 
president and the Executive Director of 

Other Actions of General Conference Executive 
Council at its March 17 Meeting 

• Approved the granting of class char- 
ters to two new Brethren groups, the 
STAKE project in Orlando/Kissim- 
mee, Fla.; and The Brethren Church 
of Medina, Ohio. 

• Received the accountant's compila- 
tion and 1994 financial report. The 
national office ended 1994 with an 
operating surplus of $31,262 (only 
slightly less than the $32,402 in 1993). 
The report revealed a two percent 
increase in Fair Share Support for 
Brethren Church Ministries and a 
12 percent increase for World Relief. 

• Heard a report on possible Indiana 
sites for 1997 General Conference 
(Manchester College, St. Mary's Col- 
lege in South Bend, and Bethel Col- 

lege in Mishawaka were mentioned). 
Discussed plans for providing The 
Brethren Evangelist to all Breth- 
ren households beginning in Sep- 
tember 1995. A 12-page newsletter 
that would be direct-mailed to 
Brethren homes is envisioned. 
Agreed to study guidelines for the 
position of lay pastor, including re- 
quirements for the calling and com- 
missioning of such pastors. 
Expressed concern about the prob- 
lem of conflict between pastors and 
congregations and the lack of a pro- 
cedure to intervene in such conflicts. 
A committee was appointed to pre- 
pare a proposal for studying this 

the Missionary Board) will be meeting 
on April 5 to continue the ongoing dis- 
cussion of possible reorganization in 
The Brethren Church at the denomina- 
tional level. The resignation of Waters 
will very likely have an impact on this 

Chair of Evangelism Funded 
At Ashland Theological Seminary 

The hiring of Ronald Waters to serve 
as assistant professor of evangelism 
at Ashland Theological Seminary was 
made possible by the recent funding of 
a Chair in Evangelism at the seminary. 
This funding came from a Brethren 
couple, who, on December 31, 1994, 
made an initial gift of $300,000 worth 
of stock to the seminary for this Chair. 
The couple also made a commitment 
to provide an additional $200,000 in 
funding over the next few years. 

STAKE Church Planting Project 
Featured at Florida Conference 

Valrico, Fla. — Rev. Kerry Scott, 
director of STAKE (Saturation of the 
Target Area for Kingdom Extension), 
the new church planting project in Flor- 
ida, was the featured speaker at the 
18th annual Florida District Confer- 
ence, held Sunday, March 5, at the 
Bloomingdale Brethren Church. 

In addition to Rev. Scott's message 
about the project, other members of the 
STAKE team introduced themselves and 
shared their spiritual journey since the 
beginning of the project last summer. 

Eugene Robbins of Sarasota served as 
conference coordinator and conducted 
the conference business session. In ad- 
dition to the customary reports and 
elections, the district took action to rec- 
ognize STAKE as a district class and to 
request national class status for the 
group. This recommendation was then 
forwarded to the national Missionary 
Board and the General Conference Ex- 
ecutive Council for action. 

Paul Yoder, the new district coordina- 
tor, announced that the 1996 conference 
theme will be "Stand Firm Then" from 
Ephesians 6:14. Newly-elected officers 
are coordinator-elect David Stone; sec- 
retary Martha Stone; treasurer Sarah 
Garrett; Men's Representative Dale 
Lapish; Women's Representative Kathy 
Rosales; and Ministerial Representa- 
tive Buck Garrett. 

The conference also featured special 
music from district congregations. A 
total of 75 delegates and guests at- 
tended the gathering. 

— reported by Ronald W. Waters 


The Brethren Evangelist 


Five West Alexandria Brethren Take 
Short-Term Mission Trip to Bolivia 

West Alexandria, Ohio — Jim 

Gibbs, Jim and Diane Jones, and 
the Joneses' sons Craig and Vin- 
cent, all from the West Alexandria 
First Brethren Church, were part of 
a team of eleven people who spent 
two weeks in December in short- 
term mission work in Bolivia. 

They served in Sucre, the cul- 
tural capital of Bolivia. This city of 
approximately 100,000 people is 
located about 9,000 feet above sea 
level. Quechua Indians make up 
the majority of the population, but 
many Spanish-speaking non- 
Quechuas also inhabit the city. 

The team, which traveled to Bo- 
livia under the auspices of United 
World Mission of North Carolina, 
expected to work at a training cen- 
ter for the Quechua Indians being 
built at a location about 3V2 hours 
by jeep from Sucre. But it turned out 
that the land for the new building had 
not yet been purchased. So instead the 
team remained in Sucre and worked at 
the San Juanillo Bible Institute. There 
they scrapped and painted dormitory 
rooms and laid sidewalk. They found 
that because of the altitude, they could 
not work quickly, so they adopted a slow 
and steady pace. 

The life expectancy of the Indians is 
about 45 years. So the Indians were 

surprised when they learned that one of 

Jim and Diane Jones and their sons, Craig and 
Vincent, and Jim Gibbs (r.) on their way to Bolivia. 

the team members was almost 60 and 
two were in their 70s! 

In addition to working, the team also 
had the opportunity to do some sight- 
seeing. One weekend they visited a vil- 
lage market in Tarebuco. They made 
the trip to the village on the back of a 
cattle truck, sharing space with other 
travelers and many different kinds of 
merchandise. Tarebuco, a village of 400, 
swells to around 2,000 during the Sat- 
urday and Sunday market days. 

Another trip, up one of the mountains 

to view the beauty of the surrounding 
countryside, resulted in a different kind 
of adventure. On the way up the moun- 
tain, the van in which they were travel- 
ing easily went through a small stream 
that ran across the road. But while 
they were on the mountain, rain 
widened the stream and swelled it 
to a depth above the knees. 

When the van reached the stream, 
the men got out and the driver tried 
to cross with only himself and the 
women in the vehicle. But the van 
became stuck. The men, and even- 
tually most of the women, pushed, 
but to no avail. It was threatening 
even more rain, and it appeared 
that soon the van might be caught 
in an even worse rush of water. So 
the group had a time of prayer. 
When they pushed again, they were 
able to move the van easily after 
just a couple of tries. 

On their return trip to the U.S. 

they also encountrered problems. 

Their flight out of Bolivia left two 

hours late, making them late for 

their connecting flight in Miami and 

causing additional problems later. But 

despite this inconvenience, they arrived 

safely home after an interesting and 

rewarding experience in Bolivia. 

On Sunday morning, February 26, 
Jim Gibbs and the members of the Jones 
family each received a plaque from the 
West Alexandria Church in recognition 
of their mission service. 

— excerpted from an article by West Alexan- 
dria member Audrey Gilbert published in the 
Eaton, Ohio, newspaper, The Register Herald. 



M E 

ago a group 
of Breth- 
ren church 
leaders got 
together in 
a very un- 
likely loca- 
tion — Las 
By Rev. *9 Dave West Vegas> Ne _ 

vada. Many different voices came together to seek what 
they had in common. What they found was a profound 
burden for the lost; a desire to plant new churches for God's 
kingdom; a realistic awareness of the resources available; 
and an unflappable faith in God. 

From that meeting came the concept of and a desire for 
a gathering of the Brethren in the West. The Great West- 
ern Roundup was born. Since that meeting, a voice calling 
for this meeting has been growing steadily louder. 

This will not be a conference. It will be a gathering in 
which we celebrate who we are in worship; in which we will 
be challenged by God's word to commitment; in which we 
will discover consensus of purpose in small groups; in 

which we will have some joyous fun; and in which we will 
eat some great food. (Hey, we're Brethren!) One of the 
primary goals for this gathering will be to build bridges of 
communication, encouragement, and support. Your involve- 
ment is necessary to help erect those bridges. 

What started out as a faint call has gained in volume. 
The event is now upon us. On June 23-25, 1995, Brethren 
from around the country will be gathering at the beautiful 
Longs Peak Inn in Estes Park, Colorado, for the very first 
Great Western Brethren Roundup. February 15 marked 
the opening of registration for this historic event. This will 
be a great opportunity for a family vacation, so bring the 
kids. The number and ages of children and youth attending 
will dictate the activities that are planned for them. A 
nursery will be available as needed. 

You will not want to miss this first ever Western 
Roundup. Come and enjoy the wonder and beauty of the 
Rocky Mountains. Witness the presence of the Lord as He 
inhabits the praises of His people. Be a part of the vision 
to advance the Kingdom of God in the West. Help set the 
stage for a wider, fuller, more active Brethren witness to 
the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Reservation information may be obtained by writing to 
Cathy Britton, 710 N. Woodlawn Blvd., Derby KS 67037 

Be a part of the best in the West! [ft] 

April 1995 



Northern California District Adopts 
Bold Plan for Planting New Churches 

Manteca, Calif. — The Northern Cali- 
fornia District adopted a bold church 
planting plan at its annual conference 
held February 24-26 at the Northgate 
Community Brethren Church. 

The plan, which was presented by the 
district executive committee and the 
district mission board, calls for employ- 
ment of an experienced church planter 
to serve as a district church planting 
coordinator. The goal is to employ this 
coordinator soon so that a new church 
may begin later in the fall. The coordi- 
nator would also explore and facilitate 
the starting of other new churches 
through the Stockton and Northgate 
congregations, using bi-vocational pas- 
tors where possible. 

The plan was developed in consulta- 
tion with Rev. Russell Gordon, Director 

of Home Missions for the Missionary 
Board of the Brethren Church. The na- 
tional and district mission boards have 
developed a creative financing plan that 
will include loans for the project from 
the national board to the district. The 
loans will be repaid with proceeds from 
the sale of the building of the Lathrop 
Brethren Church, a congregation which 
dispanded during the past year. 

"It is exciting to see the determination 
and commitment of the California 
Brethren to the task of expanding the 
Kingdom of God through church plant- 
ing," said Gordon. The plan they adopted 
is a step of faith. I am thrilled that the 
national Missionary Board can be in- 
volved with them in taking that step." 

Though not specified in the plan 
adopted by the conference, district 

members envision starting from six to 
twenty new churches in California by 
the end of this decade. 

Moderator Marshall Lehr led the con- 
ference during the past year. Other 
business conducted included routine re- 
ports and elections. Twenty-six minis- 
terial and lay delegates and alternates 
were seated for the business session. 

Newly-elected officers for 1995-96 
are moderator Alan Schmiedt, vice mod- 
erator Marshall Lehr, secretary Cheryl 
Schmiedt, treasurer Carolyn Bennett, 
and members-at-large Hope Rigunan 
and Audio Urbano. 

Theme of the conference was The 
Devoted Church . . . Grows" based on 
Acts 2:42-74. Denominational leaders 
spoke on three aspects of the theme 
each evening — worship and fellowship, 
servant leadership, and evangelism and 

The 1996 conference will be held Feb- 
ruary 23-25 at the Stockton church. 

— reported by Ronald W. Waters 


Bonnie Munson Honored 
For Community Service 

St. Petersburg, Fla. — Bonnie Mun- 
son, a member of the St. Petersburg 
Brethren Church and the Brethren 
House Ministries team of that church, 
was honored February 23 by the Tampa 
Bay chapter of The National Confer- 
ence of Christians and Jews for her 
community service. 

Ms. Munson was one of eight people 
from the Tampa Bay area (four from 
greater St. Petersburg, four from 
Tampa) who were presented the 
Mayors' Brotherhood/Sisterhood 
Award. The awards were made at 
a $25-a-plate luncheon held at the 
St. Petersburg Hilton Hotel. Each 
honoree received a plaque and had 
her/his picture taken with the 
mayors of St. Petersburg and 

Ms. Munson was recognized for 
leading a life of volunteer commu- 
nity service. For 23 years she has 
worked at Brethren House Minis- 
tries and for the past seven years 
she has served as a volunteer at 
Bayfront Medical Center. She has 
succeeded in raising community 
awareness about accessibility is- 
sues, with her efforts culminating 
in accessibility improvements to 
Bayfront's rehabilitation wing, 
cafeteria, and newly renovated in- 
terfaith chapel. 

She has also done volunteer 
work at the St. Petersburg Free 
Clinic, coordinating telephones for 


the FISH program, which matches vol- 
unteer drivers with patients in need of 
transportation. Though herself con- 
fined to a wheelchair, Ms. Munson has 
remained "a beacon of hope and an ad- 
vocate for the physically and medically 
[sic] challenged. She has demonstrated 
there need be no obstacles if motivated 
by a willingness to help others." 

Among the 400 or so people in attend- 
ance at the luncheon were many com- 
munity dignitaries, including the entire 
St. Petersburg City Council. Because of 
Ms. Munson's work at Bayfront Medical 
Center, several vice-presidents and 


Different People. Common Ground. 

Bonnie Munson holds the plaque she received 
in recognition of her community service. 

other supervisors from that hospital 
were there. Also attending the luncheon 
were Rev. Phil and Jean Lersch, fellow 
members with Ms. Munson on the 
Brethren House Ministries team. 

— reported by Rev. Phil Lersch 

Scriptures Now Available in 
2,092 of World's Languages 

New York, N.Y. —The complete Bible 
has now been published in 341 of the 
world's languages and the New Testa- 
ment in 822 additional languages, re- 
ports the American Bible Society (ABS) 
and its global partner, the United Bible 

"We are forever vigilant in our efforts 
to make the Holy Scriptures available 
to all peoples of the world," said Dr. 
Eugene B. Habecker, ABS president, in 
announcing release of the 1994 Scrip- 
ture Language Report. "With this re- 
port, we now have at least one book of 
the Bible available in 2,092 of the esti- 
mated 6,000 languages in the world. 
While this is a major accomplishment, 
we must continue the work." 

Four new Bibles were published for 
the first time in 1994 — the Imbabura 
Quichua Bible in Ecuador, the yiPunu 
Bible in Cameroon, the Basque Bible in 
Spain, and the Common Language 
Pohnpeian Bible in Micronesia. The 
New Testament is now available for the 
first time in 18 more languages, includ- 
ing Afar, which is spoken in Ethiopa; 
kiSagalla, spoken in Kenya; and Garh- 
wali, spoken in India. And at least one 
book of the Bible became available for 
the first time in 27 other languages. 

The Brethren Evangelist 

Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder 
them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:14). 

Happy Easter Boys and Girls! 

My three boys have so much fun this time of year! They look forward to coloring 
eggs and decorating them. Then comes the really neat part, when all the eggs are hidden 
and they try to find them. They have quite a race to see who can find the most eggs! 

Have you ever looked at an egg closely? An egg has three main parts. One part 
is the hard shell. It helps to protect the inside of the egg. A second part is the yellow 
yolk inside the egg. The third part is the white that surrounds the yolk. There are three 
parts, but one egg. 

An egg can help us understand something about God. Just as there are three parts 
to one egg, even so God is three in one. God is our Father, who created our wonderful 
world and everything that lives in it. God is the Son, Jesus, who died for us and rose 
again so that we can go to heaven and live with Him forever. God is the Holy Spirit, who 
is with us all the time, helping us make good choices and watching over and protecting 
us. These three "persons" who are one God we call the Trinity. Trinity means three. 

The next time you color eggs, remember that like an egg, God is three in one — 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but one God. 

Use this code to find the special message below. 

A = D; #=E; % = G; ? = H; * - I; ( = N; @ = O; ! = R; & = S; + = T 

Message: % @ 


+ ? ! # # 

( @ ( # 

*** Special Activity *** 

Ask your mom or dad 
to help you get an egg and 
crack it open. Do you see 
the three parts? Can you 
name them? Now can you 
name the three persons of 
the Trinity who are one 

April 1995 



Moderator-Elect Lynn Mercer Emphases Unity 
In Message Presented at Ohio District Conference 

i " 

Smithville, Ohio — "Unity in Christ 
— That the World May Believe" was the 
theme of a message by moderator-elect 
Rev. Lynn Mercer at the Ohio District 
Conference, held Saturday, March 11, 
at the Smithville Brethren Church. 

Basing his message on a portion of 
Jesus' "High Priestly Prayer" in John 
17, Rev. Mercer said that Jesus' prayer 
for His followers today (as in all times) 
is that we might be one. Jesus desired 
that we would be so united in love that 
the world would believe that the Father 
had sent His only-begotten Son to be our 
Savior. He noted with regret that Breth- 
ren have not achieved that kind of unity. 

He said that one means of achieving 
this unity is by prayer. Therefore he 
recommended that the elders in the dis- 
trict plan a district prayer event during 
the coming year and that the district 
board of directors continue the "Ohio 
Prayer Line" that was instituted during 
the past year. "Yes, there are differences 
among us," Rev. Mercer said, "but we 
must not allow those differences to di- 
vide us." Rather, "In the year ahead, let 
us emphasize what unites us." 

Moderator James Koontz presided 
over the business session, which con- 
sisted mainly of receiving reports from 
district boards, committees, and aux- 
iliaries and from denominational minis- 
tries. In elections, Ashland University 

professor J. Michael Drushal was cho- 
sen moderator-elect; Shirley Bowers 
was elected secretary and Karen Weiden- 
hamer her assistant; Stan Gentle was 
reelected treasurer and Bill Walk his 
assistant; and Dorman Ronk was re- 
elected statistician. 

In his report of 1994 statistics, Mr. 
Ronk noted that while the district had 
a loss in membership of 126, the church 
growth index increased by 60, with 13 of 
the districts 23 churches showing an 
increase. Increases were also seen in 
both average worship 
attendance (up 198) 
and average Sunday 
school attendance (up 
14). It was also an- 
nounced at the confer- 
ence that by action of 
the district board of 
directors that day, the 
new Brethren congre- 
gation at Medina had 
been given "class" 
status in the district. 

Three seminars 
were held during the 
day-long conference — 
"Prayer: Becoming 
God's Friend," led by 
Dr. Jerry and Julie 
Flora; "Leadership in A special treat 
the Local Church," led music played on 

by Dr. Richard Allison; and "Planned 
Giving," led by Rev. James R. Black. 

Following an hour for auxiliary meet- 
ings, the conference concluded with 
comments by Moderator Koontz and in- 
stallation of newly-elected officers and 
board and committee members. Mod- 
erator Koontz reminded the Brethren of 
their need to be praying for one an- 
other — particularly for leaders and pas- 
tors — and of the need to keep their focus 
on Jesus. Just over 100 delegates (32 
elders, 72 lay delegates) and a number 
of non-delegates attended the confer- 
ence. The 1996 conference is scheduled 
for March 9 at the North view Brethren 
Life Church near Springboro, Ohio. 

— reported by Dick Winfield 

during the conference worship service was 
dulcimers by Eric and Barb Mast. 

Rev. Keith Bennett Honored 
For Service to Community 

Muncie, Ind. — Rev. Keith Bennett, 
pastor for the past nine years of the 
Muncie First Brethren Church, received 
two awards in January in recognition of 
his outstanding community service. 

On January 16, during the annual 
Martin Luther King Day celebration, 
Rev. Bennett was presented the Dr. 
Martin Luther King, Jr., Service Award 
by the African-American clergy of the 
Muncie area. He was given this award 
in recognition of his dedication to the 
Combined Clergy organization of the 
Muncie area and for his service to the 
community through that organization. 

The Combined Clergy is an organiza- 
tion of Muncie-area African-American 
and white clergy that was formed soon 
after the Los Angeles riots in order to 
foster better race relations in the Mun- 
cie community. Projects have included 
working for fair hiring and promotion 
practices in the police and fire depart- 

ments and finding business men to give 
work opportunities to African-American 
youth. Rev. Bennett has been an inte- 
gral part of this group, serving recently 
as co-chair of the organization. 

In late January Rev. Bennett received 
another honor, the Volunteer of the 
Year Award from Christian Ministries 
of Delaware County. He was given this 
award in recognition of his service as 
chair of the Social Justice Commission, 
as co-chair of Combined Clergy, and as 
a member of the Christian Ministries 
board, the Community Task Force, the 
Mayor's Steering Committee on Domes- 
tic Violence, and the Quality Family 
Life Commission. 

In an article about Rev. Bennett in 
the Christian Ministries newsletter, 
Susan Hughes, executive director of the 
organization, wrote: "To my knowledge, 
Keith has been involved in nearly every 
program we have sponsored. But his 
strengths are his caring for his fellow 
man and his sensitivity to others' con- 
cerns. Highly organized, Keith follows 
through with planning and detail. I 




with his 



have watched him mediate discussions 
in a just and Christian manner. He is a 
joy to work with. I have never known 
him to be anything but positive and 

An article by Dr. Mary Ellen Drushal 
in the March issue of the Evangelist 
('Taking Steps Toward Racial Recon- 
ciliation," pp. 6 & 7) stressed the need 
for Brethren to become involved in over- 
coming racism. Rev. Keith Bennett is 
one member of The Brethren Church 
who has done just that. 

— reported by Allyson Runkel, Cor. Sec, 
Muncie First Brethren Church 


The Brethren Evangelist 




Maria Miranda and her radio pro- 
gram Para Ti Mujer ("For You, My Dear 
Lady") are featured in two articles in the 
January 1995 issue of Religious Broad- 
casting, the official publication of Na- 
tional Religious Broadcasters. In "What 
Women Want" written by Mark Ward 
Sr., Mrs. Miranda is one of five women 
(the others are Vonette Bright, Elisa- 
beth Elliot, Elisa Mogran, and Arthelene 
Rippy) whose radio programs are high- 
lighted. The article looks at religious 
programming that deals with issues 
and concerns related to women. It notes 
that Para Ti Mujer is aired daily on 

more than 625 sta- 
tions with an audi- 
ence estimated at 
100 million listeners. 
A second article in 
the magazine, enti- 
tled "Getting to Know 
. . . Maria Miranda," 
gives more detailed 
information about 
the background and 
outreach of her radio 
program. Both arti- 
cles mention The 
Brethren Church as 
a cosponsor of the 
program (along with 
the Fuller Evangelis- 
tic Association). 

Pastor Bill and 
Gene Skeldon of 

the Oak Hill, West 
Virginia, First Breth- 
ren Church recently 
led a group of Oak Hill area residents 
on a ten-day visit to the Holy Land. 
Among the tour participants were two 
other members of the Oak Hill Church, 

Williamstown, Ohio — Women of the Williamstown Breth- 
ren Church raised $984 for Brethren missions in Mexico last 
November at their annual W.M.S. Auction. Jeff Morris 
(above) auctioned off garden and homemade food and craft 
items provided by the women. Finger foods gave the bidders 
energy. — reported by Pastor Gene Oburn; photo by Rose Ann Launder 

In Memory 

Elma Court, 89, March 20. Member for 62 years 
of the Elkhart First Brethren Church, where she 
had served as chair of the Hospitality Ministry, 
Sunday school teacher, treasurer of the Win-A- 
Couple Class, and treasurer of W.M.S. 1. Serv- 
ices by Rev. Ray Barkey, pastor of the Maple 
Grove Church of the Brethren. 
Willobelle Lyons, 86, March 17. Member for 70 
years of the Bryan First Brethren Church, where 
she was a member of the Ever Ready Sunday 
School Class and the W.M.S. Services by Pastor 
H. Ray Aspinall. 

Ruth Moyer, 92, March 12. Member of The 
Brethren Church of New Lebanon. Services by 
Rev. Brian White. 

Maryllis Hendrix, 84, March 7. Active member 
for 52 years of the Burlington First Brethren 
Church. Services by Pastor Dennis Sigle and 
Rev. Kurt Flora. Mrs. Hendrix had 8 children, 37 
grandchildren, and 53 great-grandchildren! 
Mary Irene Tiger, 83, March 5. Member of the 
Pleasant View Brethren Church, where she had 
served as a Sunday school teacher and took part 
in the jail and street ministries; she was also a 
member of the W.M.S. Services by Pastor R. 
Keith Hensley. 

Charlotte Putman, 7 1 , March 4. Member for 58 
years of the Maurertown Brethren Church. Serv- 
ices by Pastor Richard Craver. 
Odessa Sluss, 92, February 27. Member and 
deaconess of the Louisville Brethren Bible Church 
and former member and deaconess at the Louis- 
ville First Brethren Church. She was also the 
mother of Brethren Elder James Sluss. Services 
by Lousiville Brethren Bible Pastor Chris Moel- 

Nell Lynch, 93, February 25. Member for 84 
years of the St. James Brethren Church. Services 
by Pastor Brian Moore. 

Robert Perkins, Sr., 86, February 23. Member 
for 56 years of the Bryan First Brethren Church. 
Services by H. Raymond Aspinall. 
Helen Barnhart Webb, 79, February 23. Mem- 
ber for many years of the Masontown Brethren 
Church. Known for the poetry she wrote. Serv- 
ices by Pastor Curt Nies. 

Wayne Hawkins, 78, February 20. Member of 
the Milledgeville Brethren Church, where he 
served on various committees and the Official 
Board, sang in the Senior Choir, and directed the 
Junior Choir for 14 years. Services by Pastor 
Kenneth Sullivan. 

Harry Hamp, 78, February 18. Member of the 
Fairless Hills-Levittown Brethren Church. 
Memorial service by Pastor C. William Cole. 
Christine Campbell Beckelheimer, 78, Febru- 
ary 7. Longtime member of the Oak Hill First 
Brethren Church. Services by Rev. Bill Menefee. 
Louise Stahl Blacksten, 67, February 1. Mem- 
ber for many years of the Linwood Brethren 
Church and former member of the Valley Breth- 
ren Church. At Linwood she served as a Sunday 
school teacher and was in charge of the Cradle 
Roll for more than 30 years. She was the sister of 
Brethren Elder Robert StahJ. Services by Lin- 
wood Pastor Robert L. Keplinger. 
Helen Wirts, 88, January 22. Lifetime member 
of the Roanoke First Brethren Church, where she 
served for many years as treasurer of the W.M.S. 
Services by Pastor Ron Burns. 
Linda Sue Zent, 47, December 1. Friend of the 
Roanoke First Brethren Church. Services by Rev. 
Paul Tinkel and Rev. Walter Adams. 


Lorie Ann Rowland to Andrew Orebaugh, 

March 1 1, at the Oakville First Brethren Church; 
Rev. Charles Craig officiating. Groom a member 
of the Oakville First Brethren Church. 

Helen Protka and Vivian Wygal. 

This was Pastor Skeldon's twelfth year 
to lead a tour to the Holy Land. He 
considers the trip to be a spiritual pil- 
grimage rather than a vacation or tour. 
He is already making plans for a 1996 
pilgrimage. This will be an extra special 
visit, since next year the city of Jerusa- 
lem will be celebrating its 3,000th anni- 

Two young people, April Watkins 
and David Robinson, of the Oak Hill, 
West Virginia, First Brethren Church 
made noteworthy accomplishments re- 
cently. April won the Fayette County 
Spelling Bee championship, and David 
was selected to the West Virginia All- 
State Band. 


Heritage Tour 

October 9-20, 1995 

Visit scenic sites of Anabaptist, 
Pietist, and Brethren significance in 
Switzerland, France, Germany, and 
the Netherlands. 

Sponsored by: 
Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc. 

$1,950 from New York (JFK) 

For brochure, contact: 

Don Durnbaugh 

POB 484 

James Creek, PA 16657 


Note: Tour nearly full; 

if interested in going, 

send in application nowl 


April 1995 


We Done Good! 

(Or More Properly: We Did Well!) 

Brethren gave a total of $80,358 for World Relief in 1994. That's a 12% increase 
over the $71,828 given in 1993. It also represents 128% of the total Fair Share* for 
all Brethren churches. 

One reason last year's giving for World Relief increased was because Brethren responded 
generously to the urgent appeal last August for funds for Rwanda. Thanks to your response, 
we were able to send $11,742 to World Relief of the National Association of Evangelicals 
for Rwandan relief. 

But We Can Do Better! 

While last year's giving for World Relief was $8,530 higher than for 1993, it was 
$8,119 less than in 1992. And while denomination-wide giving exceeded the total Fair 
Share for all Brethren churches, this is because 49 churches gave more than their Fair 
Share.* Meanwhile, 68 churches gave less than their Fair Share, with 21 of those churches 
giving nothing at all for World Relief (which means that the members of those churches 
gave nothing). 

Furthermore, while the total of $80,358 for World Relief looks impressive, when 
divided by the total membership of the church, it represents average giving of just $6.13 
per member. That's less than we would spend on one meal at a sit-down restaurant. And 
this is for a whole year! Is there one of us who could not spare at least a dollar a month 
to help alleviate human suffering? 

Yes, Brethren, We Can Do Better! 

The need is so great. And we have been blessed 
so abundantly. Let us share more of what we have 
to help others who need our help so desperately. 

Please give generously this month through your 
local church. Or send your gift directly to: 

World Relief 

The Brethren Church, Inc. 

524 College Ave. 

Ashland, OH 44805 

Thank you! 

*A church's Fair Share equals $6 times its Church Growth Index, which is 
calculated by adding its membership, average worship attendance, and average 
Sunday school attendance, then dividing by three. 


'U. m ~ 





; |J 


. : -i_ 





i" 1- ^ 






I 1 


: - 






ijj a > 

Using the Technology of Our Day to Reach 

the World for Christ. See page 4. 

"Oh Be Careful Little Eyes 
What You See" 

By Richard C. Winfield, Editor 



"mAKE CHARGE of TV" is the 
_L theme of a program being spon- 
sored by several magazines* that 
serve Christians affiliated with the 
"Restoration Movement" (Christian 
Churches and Churches of Christ). 
These magazines have proposed 
a three-week program. Week one: 
Monitor your TV viewing, keeping 
a log showing how much television 
each family member watches and 
what each watches. Week two: turn 
the thing off. Don't watch it at all! 
Week three: Turn it back on (if you 
wish), but watch it with more dis- 
cretion and discuss with other mem- 
bers of your family what you watch. 

A good idea 

The idea of "taking charge of TV" 
sounds like a good one, whether or 
not one follows this three-week 
sequence. Unfortunately, too often, 
it seems, the television takes charge 
of us. Or am I the only one who 
ever decides to sit down and relax 
by watching a little TV and ends up 
wasting the whole evening watch- 
ing several mindless programs? 

Apparently I'm not the only one, 
for Christian researcher George 
Barna reports studies that indicate 
that the average television house- 
hold has the set on for about seven 
hours a day and that the typical 
adult spends about four hours each 
day watching television. At first, I 
found these figures a little unbe- 
lievable, but upon reflection I real- 
ized that in many homes the tele- 
vision goes on when the kids get 
home from school and doesn't go 
off until after the 11:00 news. 

But we are only talking about 
non-Christian homes, right? Wrong! 
Barna goes on to say that 'The 
typical evangelical spends just less 

*I read about the program in Christian 
Standard magazine, which we receive at 
the National Office on an exchange basis 
(we send them a copy of our magazine, they 
send us a copy of theirs). The other periodi- 
cals are The Lookout, Restoration Herald, 
Horizons, and One Body. 

than fifty days a year glued to the 
tube."* Assuming those are 24-hour 
days, that means that conservative 
Christians are spending about three 
and one-fourth hours a day watch- 
ing television. 

Other uses for our time 

Now assuming for the moment 
that all the stuff we evangelicals 
watch is good, wholesome stuff, 
that's still a lot of time devoted to 
watching visual images on a screen. 
That's time that we could possibly 
spend talking to children or grand- 
children (or calling our mother, 
father, or grandmother). It's time 
we could spend reading the Bible 
and praying. (I often wonder how 
many hours people who say they 
can't find time for personal devo- 
tions spend watching TV.) It's time 
that we could use doing volunteer 
work, writing letters of encourage- 
ment, or attending church meet- 
ings. It might even be time we 
could spend getting more sleep! In 
fact, there are any number of other, 
useful ways we could spend some 
of the time we waste watching 

And as I said, that's assuming that 
all the stuff we watch on television 
is good stuff. But the truth is, a lot 
of what many of us watch is not 
good stuff. Much of it is just non- 
sense and some of it is downright 
evil — foul language (including the 
Lord's name in vain), drinking, 
dirty jokes and sexual innuendo, 
scantily-clad individuals, sex scenes, 
and violence of the most graphic 
kind. Not to mention the material- 
ism promoted by both the pro- 
grams and the advertisements. 

Television can bring a whole 
month's worth of temptation into 
our lives in one evening. During 
mid-winter in Ohio, you don't see 
too many people running around in 

'Absolute Confusion, p. 114; Regal Books, 
1993; as quoted in Christian Standard for 
April 23, 1995, p. 3. 

skimpy swim wear. But turn on 
your television and you won't have 
to watch very long before you see a 

On the positive side, television 
travelogues can show us places we 
might never get to see otherwise- 
Egypt, Rome, China, the Swiss 
Alps, South American rain forests, 
the Sahara desert, just to name a 
few. But television also has a way 
of taking us other places we prob- 
ably would never get to see other- 
wise, places we have no business 
seeing — bars, nightclubs, strip joints, 
even into bedrooms where we 
watch people (usually people who 
are not married to one another) 
perform the most intimate of phys- 
ical acts. And the truth is, we have 
become so accustomed to seeing 
these things that we hardly give 
them a second thought. 

Think about these things 

I think it is significant in this 
connection that the theme verse 
for the "Take Charge of TV" pro- 
gram is Philippians 4:8 — "Finally, 
brothers [and sisters], whatever is 
true, whatever is noble, whatever 
is right, whatever is pure, what- 
ever is lovely, whatever is admira- 
ble — if anything is excellent or 
praiseworthy — think about such 
things" (Niv). A lot of what comes 
to us on television does not fit into 
these categories, and therefore we 
ought to refrain from watching it. 

As I was writing these thoughts, 
I remembered the little song that 
children learn in Sunday school: 

Oh be careful little eyes what you see, 
Oh be careful little eyes what you see, 
There's a Father up above, and He's 

looking down in love, 
Oh be careful little eyes what you see. 

We certainly want to be con- 
cerned about what the "little eyes" 
in our family are seeing. And we 
need to be careful about what our 
bigger eyes are seeing as well. For 
the same Father is looking down 
upon all of us in love. 

So "taking charge of TV" makes 
a lot of sense. We would do well to 
consider seriously how much time 
we spend watching television and 
to scrutinize carefully the kinds of 
programs we view. And having done 
that, let us take whatever remedial 
action is required. [ft] 

The Brethren Evangelist 

May 1995 
Volume 117, Number 5 

The Brethren Evangelist 
(ISSN 0747-4288) 


Richard C. Winfield 

Children's Page 

Sandi Rowsey 

Editorial and 
Business Office 

524 College Avenue 

Ashland, OH 44805-3792 

Phone: 419-289-1708 

Published: Monthly (except 
July and August issues are 
combined) by The Brethren 
Church, Inc., 524 College Ave., 
Ashland, OH 44805-3792. Au- 
thors' views are not necessarily 
those of The Brethren Church. 

Subscription Rates: One 

year, $11.50 for 100% church 
lists; $13.50 for church lists 
of five or more names; $14.50 
for individual subscriptions. 
Single-copy price, $1.50. 

Change of Address: Please 
send notice at least three 
weeks in advance. Copy old ad- 
dress from back of magazine 
and send with new address. 

Manuscript Policy: While 
some unsolicited manuscripts 
are accepted, a query letter 
sent first describing a proposed 
manuscript is preferred. In- 
clude a self-addressed, stamped 
envelope with all manuscripts. 
Suggestions and forms for re- 
porting news items are avail- 
able upon request. 

Advertising: The Evangelist 
accepts a limited amount of ad- 
vertising per issue. Rates are 
available upon request. 

Postmaster: Please send Form 
3579 to The Brethren Church, 
524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 

Second Class Postage: Paid 
at Ashland, Ohio. 

Member: Evangelical Press 


"Oh Be Careful Little Eyes What You See" by Richard C. Winfield 2 
As Christians, we have a responsibility to Take Charge of TV." 

Billy Graham: "Skywalker for God" by Dan Wooding 4 

The Global Mission of this well-known evangelist used the technology 
of our day to reach out to the world for Christ. 

Brethren Women in Ministry by Matthew W. Hamel 6 

A quiz on some of the leading Brethren women of the 19th and early 
20th centuries. 

The Original Philip's Translation or Do You Understand 8 

What You Are Reading? by Brian H. Moore and Brenda B. Colijn 
What should you do when you can't comprehend the meaning of a pas- 
sage of scripture? 

Evangelicals Declare Their Oneness in Christ at the 53rd 10 

Annual Convention of the National Association of Evangelicals 

An overview of the recent NAE Convention plus the text of the position 
paper and two resolutions adopted at the convention. 

Ministry Pages 

District Crusaders 

Short-Term Missions Trip to Mexico 

Young Adult Ministries 

Brethren Summer Ministries 



Departments Children's Page 

Cartoon 3 by Sandi Rowsey 

Update 15 From the Grape Vine 19 

The May-June Woman's Outlook Newsletter is in the center of this issue. 

Answers to the Little Crusader page: 

1. If we hear and follow God words, we will produce a hundred, sixty, or 
thirty times what is sown. 

2. There are many answers you could write: pray, go to church, go to 
Sunday school, sing Christian songs, listen to Christian music, obey God's 
word, and so on. 

Pontius' Puddle 

• Us 

MEVES. T relieve: 
OP &-OOl>. 

vo voo 
ever. v/oa.tty 


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DOME so iaoCH 



May 1995 






Evangelist Conducts 

Most Far-Reaching Crusade 

in History 

By Dan Wooding 

EVANGELIST Billy Graham be- 
came a "Skywalker for God" dur- 
ing his extraordinary Global Mission, 
as his March 14-18 crusade at the 
Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, 
Puerto Rico, was extended for three 
days by satellite in 116 languages to 
3,000 centers in 185 countries. 

Even as his voice "marched through 
time and space" with a clear message 
on the reality of a personal God, a 
team of 48 interpreters in sound-proof 
booths in nearby Roberto Clemente 
Coliseum spoke the words of Billy 
Graham so that people in their coun- 
tries could hear the "good news." An 
additional 68 languages were inter- 
preted at the downlink site. 

A global altar call 

Mr. Graham's invitation from the 
stadium to receive Christ by "com- 
ing forward to the front" soared into 
the heavens and appeared miracu- 
lously on big screens in some 3,000 
centers around the world in all 29 
time zones. 

The evangelist's face, which looked 
as though it had been hewn from 
pure Italian marble, shone as he 
voiced the words, "No matter what 
language you speak, no matter what 

Mr. Wooding, an award-winning Brit- 
ish journalist, is the founder and inter- 
national director of ASSIST Ministries 
and a syndicated columnist carried in 
publications around the world. 

culture you're from, no matter what 
situation you find yourself in — all 
around the world, come and give 
your heart to Christ." 

In what was the world's first global 
altar call to the entire human race, 
people in what was a museum of 
atheism in Tirana, Albania, came to 
the front of the screen there, as did 
survivors of the killing fields of 
Rwanda, shuffling through the dust 
of the refugee camp in Goma, Zaire. 

Ten million people around the 
world attended Global Mission ven- 
ues each night, and in Puerto Rico 
attendance records were broken as 
crowds of 55,000 — more than triple 
its capacity — jammed into the base- 
ball stadium after battling gridlock 
traffic jams outside. The five-day at- 
tendance averaged above 35,000, of 
which an average of more than 1,550 
inquirers responded each evening to 
Mr. Graham's invitation to make a 
commitment to Christ. 

Same moon shines on all 

An extraordinary experience took 
place one night when Mr. Graham 
pointed to a full moon in Puerto Rico 
and the television camera panned 
upwards to capture it. All over the 
world in outdoor "cathedrals," peo- 
ple looked up and gasped as they saw 
that same full moon over their land. 

In addition to the attendance at 
the satellite venues, more than one 
billion people heard Mr. Graham's 

message about the cross of Christ as 
it was broadcast during Easter week 
in prime time on national television 
networks in 117 countries. 

Among those attending the final 
night in San Juan was Dr. Peter 
Kuzmic, president of the Protestant 
Evangelical Council of Bosnia and 
Croatia. He revealed that his own 
city of Osijek, Croatia, was carrying 
the Global Mission. 

Good news to a broken world 

Fighting back tears, he told me, 
"Only three years ago, over 150,000 
shells almost destroyed Osijek in 
eight months, and now every night 
hundreds of individuals are being 
embraced by the saving love of Jesus 
through the preaching of the 'good 
news.' It truly is 'good news' for bad 
times in Croatia, Bosnia, and other 
parts of our broken world." 

Speaking of the Global Mission, 
Dr. Kusmic added, "This is a most 
amazing and effective combination of 
the simplicity and power of the pro- 
claimed word and the complexity and 
efficiency of global communicative 
technology in fulfillment of Jesus' 
words in Matthew 24:14, 'This Gos- 
pel ... to all nations.' " 

Poland also saw a tremendous move- 
ment of God's Spirit. In Walbryzch, 
the man responsible for the techni- 
cal arrangements gave his life to the 
Lord. In Malbork, a young man who 
committed his life to Christ on Fri- 

The Brethren Evangelist 

day returned the next evening with 
his wife and daughter. They, too, made 
decisions for Christ. 

To Russia with love 

In many of the republics of the for- 
mer Soviet Union, tens of thousands 
of people responded to the message 
of hope preached by Billy Graham. 
In the Russian town of Murmansk, 
an overflow crowd of 2,200 attended 
the last meeting, and two extra televi- 
sion monitors were set up in the foyer. 
Five hundred and eight responded 
to the invitation to accept Christ. 

Seven hundred attended the mis- 
sion in Chita, and 100 people re- 
sponded to the invitation. Sergey, a 
27-year-old Russian army political of- 
ficer, came forward. "He was very dis- 
traught with his life, and this brought 
him to God," reported a leader at 
the meeting. "In a rather unusual 
manner he had acquired a New Tes- 
tament. It occurred while on duty 
one day as he came upon a group of 
soldiers playing cards. The stakes 
were a New Testament. He confis- 
cated it and began to read it." 

Albania became infamous in world 
history when its leader, Enver Hoxha, 
declared his country to be the 
"World's First Atheistic Nation." But 
now, he is dead and some 30 churches 
are open in his country. For three 
nights, the Global Mission was shown 
in "The Pyramid," a building con- 
structed for the glory of Hoxha and 
his atheistic philosophies, now an in- 
ternational center of culture. 

Nearly 800 people attended each 
service, and many others were turned 
away due to lack of space. Scores 
came and stood in front of a giant 
screen to commit their lives to Christ 
in a country where only four years 
ago they would have been impris- 
oned for such an action. 

At the roof of the world in Kath- 
mandu, Nepal, the first night of the 
meetings in this beautiful Himalayan 
kingdom started against a backdrop 
of a magnificent sunset. This was the 
first time any Christian meeting had 
taken place at the site, the second- 
largest stadium in the city. Approxi- 
mately 3,000 turned out, and at least 
90 of those came forward at the in- 
vitation. The second night, being Fri- 
day, drew a crowd of 3,500, with 120 
responses being recorded. 

May 1995 

In the former Marxist state of 
Ethiopia, crowds of 40,000, some 
5,000 more than the official capacity 
of the facility, attended each night of 
the crusade in Addis Ababa. Hun- 
dreds responded to the invitation. 

Rain threatened the first meeting 
at an open air soccer stadium in 
Petionville, Haiti. Concerned that 
such weather might prove disastrous 
to the success of the meetings, the 
local coordinators went to prayer. 
Within minutes the rain ceased. 
When Billy Graham shared, "I am 
not offering you a dead Christ," the 
entire audience burst into applause. 

As his sermon progressed, so did 
the sense of excitement in the sta- 
dium. Attendance was estimated to 
be between five and ten thousand, 
with nearly 500 counselors prepared 
to assist the inquirers, who filled 
both sides of the stage. 

"It is the Lord's doing" 

Before the program began, a pas- 
tor said, "People are afraid to come 
out because of insecurity and vio- 
lence that still exists. This is a big 
and tremendous event for my coun- 
try. It is the Lord's doing." 

India's 14 Global Mission venues 
reported that on the second night of 
meetings, 83,650 heard the gospel 
and 3,476 responded to the invita- 
tion of Mr. Graham. 

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, some 
1,500 turned up for the meeting at a 
Chinese cinema hall converted into 
a church, which is now proclaiming 
the gospel instead of the usual fare 
of gory Chinese movies. 

In Rwanda, the satellite meetings 
nearly did not take place when a lo- 
cal official who had given verbal ap- 
proval for the public meeting place 
to be used as the Global Mission 
venue left the city without notifying 
any of his colleagues that official per- 
mission had been granted. This did 
not stop local organizers, who simply 
moved the venue to a small church. 
Two thousand packed into the sanc- 
tuary, and the area outside the church 
was even more crowded around win- 
dows and doors. 

In Zaire, despite a fierce tropical 
downpour and fears of violence, some 
20,000 Rwandan refugees attended 
a food distribution compound in 
Coma to hear Billy Graham preach 

the gospel message. Many responded 
to Mr. Graham's invitation. On the 
second night, a crowd double that of 
the first night came, and nearly 1,000 
responded. Locals were encouraged 
by the fact that when people had 
walked home in the dark the pre- 
vious evening, not one single inci- 
dent was reported — something that 
has not been true for many months 
in this city. 

"It can't be done" 

Billy Graham's Global Mission be- 
came a "stairway to heaven" for mil- 
lions of people around the world, 
thanks to some of the most sophisti- 
cated television and satellite technol- 
ogy ever assembled. 

"Even the television industry ac- 
knowledges that this is the biggest 
point-to-point relay around the world 
of its kind in history," said David 
Rennie, a British electronics engi- 
neer who has worked with the Billy 
Graham Evangelistic Association for 
many years and who traveled from 
London to work as a consultant for 
this event. 

"There are those who are experts 
in the field of satellite communica- 
tions who said that a project as com- 
plex as this just could not be done, 
but we have done it — for the glory 
of God," Rennie added. 

Greg Laurie, an evangelist with 
Harvest Crusades and pastor of the 
15,000-strong Harvest Christian Fel- 
lowship in Riverside, California, was 
on hand to observe the crusade. He 
told me, "I think that the theme, 
'The Time Is Now,' that has been 
used by Global Mission is incredibly 
appropriate. Technology where it is 
at this moment, combined with the 
Stature of Billy Graham, results in an 
explosive combination." 

"I can't think of anyone besides Mr. 
Graham who could lead an event of 
this magnitude. One thing that struck 
me personally was when he was giv- 
ing the invitation and he said, 'All 
around the world — you come now.' 
At that moment the magnitude of 
this event hit me." 

For those around the world who 
responded to Christ, their time was 
now! And for Billy Graham, at the 
age of 76, he was conducting a "Mis- 
sion Without Walls" diat was the cap- 
stone of his inspiring ministry. [ir] 

Brethren Women in Ministry 

By Matthew W. Hamel 

From its beginning in 1708, when three of the first eight members were women, the 
Brethren movement has been blessed by the contributions of women. In this quiz, we look 
at some of the leading Brethren women of the 1 9th and early 20th centuries. 


i ss; 



1. The earliest known woman 
preacher in the Brethren move- 
ment was Sarah Righter Major. 
Born in 1808 near Philadelphia, 
Sarah Righter was converted at 
age 18 under the preaching of Har- 
riet Livermore, a well-known evan- 
gelist of the time. She joined the 
Brethren congregation in Philadel- 
phia and soon afterwards experi- 
enced a call to preach. In 1842 she 
married Thomas Major, a Breth- 
ren minister, and together they 
held many preaching meetings in 
Ohio and Indiana. Her preaching 
ministry was: 

Readily accepted by the Breth- 
ren. Go to 9. 

Met with some resistance from 
the Brethren. Go to 15. 

2. Yes. Like many Brethren 
since, Laura and her husband, 
their later 
years in 
In 1910 
they set- 
tled near 
dale (be- 
tween Ft. 
dale and 

they entered the fruit-growing in- 
dustry. Prior to this, in 1896, 
Laura preached at a three-week 
revival in Hagerstown, Md., dur- 

Mr. Hamel, a member of the Johns- 
town, Pa., Second Brethren Church, 
currently lives in Ashland, Ohio, and 
attends the new Brethren Church of 

Laura Hendrick 

ing which 36 members were added 
to the church. The pastor described 
the revival as "The most successful 
meeting ever held in this charge." 
It was at this series of meetings 
that Sarah was dubbed the D. L. 
Moody of The Brethren Church. 
Move on down to 4. 

3. Correct. The passage reads, ". . . 
women should remain silent in the 
churches. They are not allowed to 
speak, but must be in submission, 
as the Law says. . . . for it is dis- 
graceful for a woman to speak in 
the church" (I Cor. 14:34-35, MV). 
Go to 19. 

4. In addition to preaching and 
leading the Sisters' Society of Chris- 
tian Endeavor, Brethren women 
also served as missionaries both at 
home and abroad. Ada Garber 
Drushal worked with her husband 
in the mountains of eastern Ken- 
tucky, where she served as treas- 
urer, bookkeeper, Bible-teacher, 
midwife, undertaker, and herb- 
healer. The primary focus of the 
Drushals' work in Kentucky was: 

Operation of a school. Go to 16. 
A radio ministry. Go to 7. 

5. Correct! The Michigan Dis- 
trict passed its resolution in 1890. 
This district, which no longer ex- 
ists (our only remaining Michigan 
congregation is now a part of the 
Indiana District), also offered many 
Bible passages in support of a 
woman's eligibility to "the office of 
minister or deacon." Swing by 14, 
then on to 18. 

6. Good choice! A charter mem- 
ber of the Masontown, Pa., Breth- 
ren Church, Mary became in 1887 
the first president of the Sisters' 
Society of Christian Endeavor 
(S.S.C.E., which later became the 

called her 
to the 
and she 
was or- 
dained at 

Mary Sterling in 1890 Be . 

tween January and June of 1894, 
Mary preached 207 sermons in 187 
days, culminating in her delivery of 
the Sunday morning sermon at that 
year's General Conference. Jump on 
down to number 11. 

7. Sorry, you're on the wrong fre- 
quency! See 16. 

8. Although fair-skinned people 
were undoubtedly rarely seen by the 
Kikuyu, this was not the reason 
they considered Dr. Florence Grib- 
ble beautiful. See 10. 

9. You misjudge the Brethren of 
that time. See 15. 

10. Correct! Among the Kikuyu, 
women were considered beautiful 
if their upper front teeth were 
spaced widely apart. The Gribbles 
were not married when they went 
to Kenya in 1908. But in 1912, 
they were part of a pioneer party 
that was sent from Kenya to the 
Belgian Congo (Zaire), and they 
were married there the following 
year. They served in Kenya with 
the Africa Inland Mission, but in 
1914 the Gribbles were appointed 
to lead the first Brethren Church 
missionary party to Africa. It was 
1921 before that party was able to 
begin work in a section of French 
Equatorial Africa that is now 

The Brethren Evangelist 

"I am glad I never stood in the way of women preaching, and that 
I belong to a church that assists them in doing so. " 

— Brethren Leader Henry R. Holsinger 

located in the Central African Re- 
public and in Chad. Go to 22. 

11. Soon after the founding of 
The Brethren Church, a number of 
resolutions were passed by district 
and national conferences in support 
of the growing number of women 
missionaries, preachers, and lead- 
ers. The first district to pass such 
a resolution was: 

The Michigan district. Go to 5. 
The Illiokota district. Go to 14. 

12. Afraid not! Go east (see 2). 

13. On the foreign field, Breth- 
ren missionaries James and Florence 
Newberry Gribble began Brethren 
mission work in Africa. According 
to Dr. Gribble's autobiography, she 
was considered beautiful by the 
Kikuyu people of British East Af- 
rica (Kenya) because of: 

Her fair skin. Go to 8. 
The spacing of her front teeth. 
Go to 10. 

14. You're late again! This dis- 
trict, which encompassed the Breth- 
ren congregations in Illinois, Iowa, 
and South Dakota (now the Cen- 
tral District, since we no longer 
have churches in South Dakota), 
passed its resolution in 1891, a 
year later than the Michigan Dis- 
trict. The statement resolved "that 
no distinction be made in repre- 
sentative bodies of the church on 
basis of sex." Pronouncements in 
support of the service of women in 
the church were also passed in the 
Indiana District (1891), the Penn- 
sylvania District (1892), and the 
Ohio District (1894). See 5, then 
head on over to 18. 

15. Correct. The 1834 Annual 
Meeting responded negatively to a 
query on women preaching (appar- 
ently directed at Sarah). However, 
a member of a committee sent by 
Annual Meeting to counsel Sarah 
to remain silent said, "I could not 
give my vote to silence someone 
who could out-preach me." It is of 
interest to note that Sarah was one 
of the preachers at the 1878 An- 
nual Meeting. Continue on to 17. 

May 1995 

16. You deserve to be on the honor 
roll! In her 70 years of dedicated 
service in the Lost Creek area, Ada 
Drushal helped in the day-to-day 
operation of what is now known as 
Riverside Christian Training 
School. She was also known to 
preach on occasion, with "sledge- 
hammer blows." Proceed to 13. 

17. Like many Brethren women 
of that time, Sarah Righter Major 
was active in the temperance 
movement, anti-slavery efforts, 
and home visitation. But her role 
as a preacher was seen as contro- 
versial by those Brethren who held 
to a traditional understanding of: 

1 Corinthians 14:34-35. Go to 3. 
1 Corinthians 11:5. Go to 20. 

18. Laura E. N. Grossnickle 
Hendrick was another prominent 
woman in the early decades of The 
Brethren Church. Ordained by the 
Ohio District in 1891, she was in 
much demand as a speaker at dis- 
trict and national conferences. But 
her greatest contribution to the 
church was her service as presi- 
dent of the S.S.C.E. During her 
tenure as president (1894-1898), 
she visited 20 local societies and 
organized 38 new congregational 
chapters. Forced to relocate due to 
her husband's failing health, they 
were among the first Brethren to 
settle in this state: 

Florida. Go to 2. 
Arizona. Go to 12. 

19. Following the 1881-1883 di- 
vision of the Brethren into the Old 
Order, Conservative, and Progres- 
sive branches, the place of women 
in ministry became a priority in 
The Brethren Church. Following 
the organization of our denomina- 
tion, Brethren visionary Henry 
Holsinger wrote, "I am glad I never 
stood in the way of women preach- 
ing, and that I belong to a church 
that assists them in doing so." The 
first woman to be ordained in The 
Brethren Church was: 

Nora Pearl Bracken Davis. Go 
to 21. 
Mary Malinda Sterling. Go to 6. 

20. Afraid not. As a matter of 
fact, some use this text ("And every 
woman who prays or prophesies 
with her head uncovered dishonors 
her head . . .") in support of a 
woman's right to preach, saying 
that it implies that it is all right 
for a woman to "prophesy" (preach) 
as long as she does so with her 
head covered. This passage was 
also used to support the Brethren 
tradition of head coverings for 
women. Now have a look at 3. 

21. No, you're off by 29 years. A 
native of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 
Nora Davis was ordained in Octo- 
ber 1919 at the Vinco Brethren 
Church after serving the Pleasant 
View Brethren Church in Vander- 
grift, Pa. She later served as Super- 
intendent of the Children's Division 
for our denomination, supervising 
Sunday schools and writing les- 
sons for children. Go to 6. 

22. Congratulations. With that 
quick side trip to Africa, you have 
now completed your journey through 
this quiz, which has looked at con- 
tributions of women in The Breth- 
ren Church. 

For further reading: 

Articles in The Brethren Encyclopedia, 
Donald F. Durnbaugh, ed. Philadelphia, 
PA, and Oak Brook, IL: The Brethren 
Encyclopedia, Inc., 1983. 

J. Garber Drushal. Troublesome Creek 
[George and Ada Drushal]. Published by 
Joy Sallee Purvis, 1986. 

Florence Newberry Gribble. Stranger 
Than Fiction, A Partial Record of An- 
swered Prayer in the Life of Dr. Florence 
N. Gribble. Winona Lake, IN: Brethren 
Missionary Herald, 1949. 

Henry R. Holsinger. History of the 
Tunkers and the Brethren Church. Oak- 
land, CA: Pacific Press Pub. Co., 1901. 

Jerry and Julie Flora. Faith and Forti- 
tude: Lives of W.M.S. Presidents. Ash- 
land, OH: Brethren Pub. Co., 1987. 

Jerry Flora. "Brethren Women in Min- 
istry: Century One." Ashland Theological 
Journal 15 (1982): 18-32. 

Jerry Flora. "Ninety Years of Brethren 
Women in Ministry." Ashland Theologi- 
cal Journal 17 (1984): 4-19. 

Albert T. Ronk. History of The Brethren 
Church. Ashland, OH: Breth. Pub. Co., 1968. 



the Bible 

THE STORY of Philip and the 
Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26- 
39) is an inspiring account of how 
one person who was sensitive to 
the Holy Spirit was used to lead 
another person who was seeking 
for a deeper understanding of God 
to a full Christian experience. The 
story is often taught as an illustra- 
tion of how to do one-on-one evan- 
gelism. (The Brethren in times 
past have appealed to it as an ex- 
ample of how to do baptism!) And 
it is a vivid account of God at work 
in the early church. 

We would like to consider in this 
article how it also illustrates the 
problem of the unclear passage of 
Scripture and the need for "outside" 
help in understanding such pas- 
sages. All of us at times need a key 
to unlock the meaning of a given 
text. In the wise providence of God, 
the Ethiopian eunuch was not aban- 
doned in his search for meaning. 
Philip, in tune with the voice of the 
Spirit, went to his aid and helped 
him to understand the confusing text. 

Watch your attitude 

Before we consider the problem of 
the unclear passage of Scripture, 
we must first clear our under- 
standing on some other matters. 
First, we must be sure of the atti- 
tude with which we approach the 
text. According to the Scriptures, 

Rev. Moore is pastor of the St. James, 
Md., Brethren Church. Dr. Colijn is a 
member of the Smoky Row Brethren 
Church in Worthington, Ohio, and an 
adjunct professor at Ashland Theologi- 
cal Seminary. Both are members of The 
Brethren Church's Committee on Doc- 
trine, Research, and Publication, which 
is preparing this series of articles. 


The Original 
Philip's Translation 


Do You Understand What You Are Reading? 

By Brian H. Moore and Brenda B. Colijn 

God hides some things from people 
because they are not in sympathy 
with Him or His message. For ex- 
ample, "For the message of the 
cross is foolishness to those who are 
perishing ..." (1 Cor. 1:18*). Later 
in that same letter, Paul says, "The 
man without the Spirit does not ac- 
cept the things that come from the 
Spirit of God, for they are foolish- 
ness to him, and he cannot under- 
stand them, because they are spiri- 
tually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14, em- 
phasis ours). 

Be wary of a closed mind 

Writing even more strongly, Paul 
says this about the Israelites who 
are closed to the message of Christ: 
"But their minds were made dull, 
for to this day the same veil re- 
mains when the old covenant is 
read. It has not been removed, be- 
cause only in Christ is it taken 
away. . . . But whenever anyone 
turns to the Lord, the veil is taken 
away" (2 Cor. 3:14, 16). And more 
strongly still, "And even if our gos- 
pel is veiled, it is veiled to those 
who are perishing. The god of this 
age has blinded the minds of unbe- 
lievers, so that they cannot see the 
light of the gospel of the glory of 

*Quotations from the Bible are from the 
New International Version except where noted 

Correspondence Welcomed 

The members of the General Con- 
ference Executive Council's Commit- 
tee on Doctrine, Research, and Pub- 
lication invite readers to suggest topics 
or Bible passages to discuss in future 
articles in this column. Send ques- 
tions, comments, or suggestions to 
the committee in care of The Breth- 
ren Evangelist, 524 College Ave., 
Ashland, OH 44805. 

Christ, who is the image of God" (2 
Cor. 4:3-4). 

A certain female atheist of notori- 
ety claims that she read the Bible 
"one weekend and found it to be full 
of incredible nonsense and contra- 
dictions." So no matter how much 
explaining Philip or anyone does, 
some folks will not understand, be- 
cause it is not a question of the 
mind but of the heart. Jesus said, 
"If anyone chooses to do God's will, 
he will find out whether my teach- 
ing comes from God or whether I 
speak on my own" (John 7:17). Un- 
derstanding the Bible is first of all 
a moral rather than an intellectual 

The Ethiopian eunuch was obvi- 
ously sincere in his quest for under- 
standing. He had been to Jerusa- 
lem to worship, and after worship 
he was searching the Scriptures. He 
did not bring a challenging or defi- 
ant spirit to the Scriptures; rather, 
he brought a compliant and sub- 
missive spirit. 

Check your motivation 

A second matter needs to be ad- 
dressed: Why do we want to know 
the meaning of a difficult passage? 
Sometimes people seem to be at- 
tracted to the obscure and vague 
passages of the Bible. But why? Is 
it so they can appear scholarly? Is it 
so they can be "one up on" someone 
else? Why do some folks want to 
dwell almost entirely on difficult 
passages in Daniel and Revelation? 
We do not intend to convey that 
some parts of the Bible are not wor- 
thy of our study, but we do feel it is 
important that one have the right 
motives for studying them. 

"Even though we speak like this, 
dear friends, we are confident of 
better things in your case . . ." (Heb. 

The Brethren Evangelist 

"Approach the text with prayer. Since these things are spiritually 
discerned, consciously adopt an attitude of dependence on the Spirit 
of God to open your mind and heart to the text." 

6:9). But even assuming we ap- 
proach the Scriptures "with glad 
and sincere hearts," we still may 
not be able to understand certain 
passages. What then? Back to the 
Gaza strip. "Do you understand what 
you are reading?" Philip asked. 

"How can I," the Ethiopian eunuch 
replied, "unless someone explains it 
to me?" So he invited Philip to join 
him in the chariot, and Philip ex- 
plained the passage to him. 

Follow these suggestions 

Since Philip is no longer avail- 
able to explain our troublesome 
passages, we offer the following 

1. Approach the text with prayer. 
Since these things are spiritually 
discerned, consciously adopt an at- 
titude of dependence on the Spirit 
of God to open your mind and heart 
to the text. 

2. Assume that the text in ques- 
tion really does make sense. It has 
a meaning and was written for a 
purpose. In other words, assume 
that its meaning can become clear 
if we will pursue it. 

3. Be willing to dig. As has been 
said, "The best gold is not on the 
surface; nuggets must be mined." 
Luke described his need to research 
the sources, and his writing reveals 
that he "carefully investigated every- 
thing from the beginning" (Luke 1:3). 

4. Remember the primary rule of 
interpretation: consider the con- 
text! Verses must be interpreted in 
their setting, not in isolation (with 
the possible exception of Proverbs). 
A careful reading of the context will 
many times yield greater under- 

5. Use several translations and 
paraphrases. Paraphrases such as 
The Living Bible or The Message 
are easier to understand because 
they include much interpretation. 
In our opinion, they should be con- 
sulted last because of this feature. 
(In most cases, paraphrases are the 
work of an individual and repre- 
sent that person's interpretation.) 
On the other hand, there is no need 

May 1995 

in our day to confine ourselves to 
obscure language when the key to 
understanding may be simply a 
matter of updating the words. 

6. With pencil and notebook, try 
to outline the paragraph, the chap- 
ter, or even the entire book in which 
the difficult text is found. Chapter 
and verse divisions are not sacred; 
sometimes we must move beyond 
these artificial devices to get a 
clearer picture of what the author 
is saying. 

7. Try to find the background or 
setting of the book. Why was this 
book written? Assume that it was 
primarily written for its first read- 
ers. What would they hear the 
author saying or describing? A 
source such as Eerdmans Hand- 
book of the Bible will help with this 
step. Remember, sometimes the 
problem of understanding arises 
because we want the author to an- 
swer questions he doesn't intend to 

8. If a person, place, event, thing, 
or practice isn't clear, look it up in a 
Bible dictionary or a book about 
Bible times. Two noteworthy exam- 
ples are the New Bible Dictionary 
(J. D. Douglas, ed.) and The New 
Manners and Customs of Bible 
Times (Ralph Gower). 

9. Sometimes the meaning of a 
word may be causing 
problems in under- 
standing. It's a good idea 
to use a concordance to 
see how that word is 
used elsewhere by bibli- 
cal writers. Further, a 
tool such as Vine's Ex- 
pository Dictionary of 
Biblical Words could be 

10. Cross references 
are helpful if used judi- 
ciously. But just because 
an identical word is used 
in another passage does 
not mean the ideas are 
identical. Use cross ref- 
erences, but use them 

fails, consult commentaries and/or 
other books that explain passages. 
The Hard Sayings series from In- 
terVarsity Press, Difficult Passages 
in the New Testament by Stein or 
Today's Handbook for Solving Bi- 
ble Difficulties by O'Brien specifi- 
cally address difficult portions of 
the Bible. Study Bibles complete 
with notes of all kinds may be help- 
ful. But remember, even though 
they may be the work of scholars 
who have devoted their lives to the 
study of the Scriptures, these re- 
sources are not infallible. 

12. Be willing to subject your 
findings to a study group of sincere 
seekers after truth. While that may 
run the risk of "pooled ignorance," 
it may also allow the Spirit of God 
to speak through His people so they 
can help one another discern what 
the Spirit is saying. 

Finally, remember the wisdom of 
Peter Marshall: "It's not the parts 
of the Bible I don't understand which 
give me trouble; it's the parts of the 
Bible I understand all too well 
which give me the most difficulty!" 
The "things . . . written aforetime 
were written for our learning," not 
for our confusion or bewilderment 
(Rom. 15:4, KJV). Therefore, "let us 
press on to know the Lord, and to 
practice what we know." [ft] 

11. When 

all else 

Understanding the Bible?? 

A Church of England publication listed the 
following children's answers to church school 

• Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark. 

• The fifth commandment is: Humor thy father 
and mother. 

• Lot's wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball 
of fire by night. 

• Mary was the mother of Jesus, and sang the 
Magna Carta. 

• Abraham begat Isaac, Isaac begat Jacob, and 
Jacob begat twelve partridges. 

• The natives of Macedonia did not believe, so 
Paul got stoned. 

• The First Commandment: Eve told Adam to eat 
the apple. 
— from 1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking, 

edited by Michael Hodgin (Zondervan, 1994) 

Evangelicals Declare Their Oneness in Christ 

at the 53rd Annual Convention 
of the National Association of Evangelicals 

UNITY IN CHRIST was the fo- 
cus as Christians from across 
our nation gathered in Louisville, 
Kentucky, March 5-7 for the 53rd 
annual convention of the National 
Association of Evangelicals (NAE). 
"One Faith, One Witness, One 
Hope" was the theme of the con- 
vention. This theme was addressed 

by the three main speakers at the 
gathering — Duane Litfin, president 
of Wheaton (111.) College; Morris 
Chapman, president of the execu- 
tive committee of the Southern 
Baptist Convention; and Paul 
Conn, president of Lee College in 
Cleveland, Tenn. The theme was 
also the subject of a position paper 

adopted at the convention business 
session (see below). 

Several members of The Breth- 
ren Church attended all or part of 
the convention, including Rev. David 
Cooksey, Rev. Gene Eckerley, Dr. 
Fred Finks, Rev. Tim Garner, 
Chaplain David Graetz, Chaplain 
Ken Madison, Dr. Juan Carlos and 




II ' . 


NAE Position Paper 

One Faith, One Witness, One Hope: 
Celebrating Our Unity in Jesus Christ 

The unity of the body of Christ is one of the great themes 
of the New Testament. When people come to Christ through 
repentance and faith, they not only become "new creatures 
in Christ," but become members of Christ's one body as 
well. "For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body" 
(1 Cor. 12:13). As members of Christ's Body and as mem- 
bers of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), we 
commit ourselves to one another in a loving fellowship that 
promotes cooperative effort in Christian witness and cele- 
bration of all that we share together in Christ. 

We celebrate our one faith. Our Statement of Faith re- 
flects the fact that we accept the Bible as our authority and 
rule of faith and practice. The Lord God — Father, Son and 
Holy Spirit — is the object and provider of our one faith. "It is 
by grace you have been saved, through faith — it is the gift 
of God" (Eph. 2:18). We "fix our eyes on Jesus, the author 
and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him 
endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the 
right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:2). 

We celebrate our one witness. "Faith comes from hearing 
the message, and the message is heard through the word 
of Christ" (Rom. 10:17). Yet, "faith by itself, if it is not accom- 
panied by action, is dead" (James 2:17). Our united witness 
to the gospel of Christ has never been needed more. Relig- 
ious syncretism, moral relativism, extreme individualism, 
materialism and racism are dominant ideologies of the age, 
undermining the institutions of family, church and civil gov- 
ernment which are ordained by God. Knowing the power of 
God's truth to transform, we unite in a fresh commitment of 
ourselves to God in order faithfully to proclaim and demon- 
strate biblical Christianity. 

We celebrate our one hope. "If only for this life we have 
hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But 
Christ has indeed been raised from the dead" (1 Cor. 15:19- 
20). Through Jesus Christ we believe in God the Father, 
who through the power of the Holy Spirit raised him from the 
dead and glorified him, and so our faith and hope are in the 

triune God. We anticipate the "glorious appearing of our 
great God and Savior, Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). We antici- 
pate that time when "the dwelling of God is with men, and 
he will live with them. They will be his people, and God 
himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe 
every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or 
mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has 
passed away" (Rev. 21:3-4). 

United in Christ and with a firm commitment to our one 
faith, one witness, and one hope, we resolve to serve our 
Lord by standing for biblical truth, calling evangelicals to 
bear witness to the absolute standard of biblical truth and its 
application to every area of life, modeling Christian unity 
based upon a commitment to biblical truth and the lordship 
of Jesus Christ. We will do this by identifying the needs and 
issues around which our members have common concerns, 
developing ways and means to meet these needs and to 
address these issues, and a collegial environment which will 
support the mission and ministry of each member unit. 

We resolve to serve our Lord by speaking with a repre- 
sentative voice. We will do this by proclaiming the gospel 
globally and ministering to human needs — physical, emo- 
tional, and spiritual, and identifying sociocultural issues and 
addressing them with a biblical, prophetic perspective. 

We resolve to serve our Lord by serving the evangelical 
community. We will do this by enabling evangelical organi- 
zations to fulfill their ministries through encouragement, sup- 
port, information, cooperative action, service, and education 
in the nature of contemporary issues, thus providing a sup- 
port network for effective response and action. 

As we, the National Association of Evangelicals, serve 
the Lord in these ways, we do so in the knowledge that we 
are pleasing our Lord Jesus Christ whose prayer "that they 
may be one as we are one" (John 17:11) will be lived out 
before an unbelieving world, until such time as our faith is 
face-to-face, our witness is verified, and our hope is com- 
plete! [tfj 


The Brethren Evangelist 

Hhc ^Womayis Outfoof^O^sletfcer 

JLpublicatiorv tiftki ^rethrew ^WomanS Missionary Society 

May-June 1995 

Volume 8, Number 5 

Ike presidents J?ai 

Dear Ladies, 

As I write this, I am in Tucson, Ari- 
zona. Jim and I are staying with our 
friends, Bill and Fran Curtis. Tucson 
is such a beautiful city! When we left 
Ashland, it was in the 30s (cold!) and 
it was in the 70s when we arrived in 
Tucson. The sun felt so good! 

In Ashland, the tulips are coming 
up, as well as other flowers. We know 
that spring is "just around the corner." 
It is a beautiful time of year, with 
signs of new life all around us. 

Spring puts me in the mood to 
Spring Houseclean! (It really does.) I 
like to sit back and look at a room all 
clean from top to bottom. I even enjoy 
washing windows! The sun is so much 
brighter coming in through clean win- 
dows. Now, before you all think I'm 
"weird," let me tell you I don't start 
spring-cleaning like our grandmothers 
— turning everything inside out the 
first sign of a sunny spring day. It usu- 
ally takes me until Christmas to finish 
my "spring-cleaning." By then, the first 
rooms I cleaned need a quick going 
over before the kids all come home for 
the Christmas holidays. When I was 
much younger and a full-time stay-at- 
home mother, I finished in a couple of 
weeks. Age has slowed me down a lit- 
tle (really — a lot!) 

Spring can also be a good time for 
some personal "housecleaning." Gala- 
tians 5:16-21 tells us we need to "live 
by the Spirit and you will not gratify 
the desire of the sinful nature." The 
sunlight of God's word brings into the 
open the sins we would otherwise keep 
hidden. We are human and so we sin 
daily. By reading God's word we are 
made aware of our sin. Now is a good 
time to do some spiritual houseclean- 
ing. The Lord can help us clean out the 
"dirt and grime" and make us fresh 
and clean. 

Are you looking forward to our an- 
nual conference? I am! The speaker for 
the WMS luncheon will be Jill Briscoe. 
I am sure she will be an exciting 
(continued on page 3) 


Devotions presented by Joanne Kroft 
Ohio WMS District Conference, March 11, 1995 

Text: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer 
and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 

Philippians 4:6 

I have had a sneak preview of the 
book Prayers that are Answered by 
Betty Malz, which may be on the read- 
ing list for next year. I say "may be," if 
it is available and if the WMS Execu- 
tive Committee recommends it. I hope 
so, because it is a book everyone should 

This book is dedicated to "everyone 
who has a prayer yet unanswered." 
Isn't that all of us? 

Sometimes it takes a major need in 
our lives before we stop to pray. Dur- 
ing the past year I have realized the 
shortcomings in my prayer life, and now 
I am dependent solely upon prayer 
continuously. As I have practiced pray- 
ing, I have learned so much. I am like 
the disciples, "Lord, teach me to pray." 

I have said to some, "111 remember 
you in prayer" and then use prayer 
thoughts to keep them in mind. The 
attitude of prayer is part of the "Pray 
without ceasing" (I Thessalonians 
5:17) admonition. Although I am not 
with that person, I continue in God's 
Presence for that person. 

In her book, Mrs. Malz reminds us 
there is power in prayer. And some- 
times it takes a long time for the an- 
swer to come. But God's timing is not 
our timing! Frequently we tend to run 
ahead of God and do our own thing. 
The author prayed for a mate and it 
took six years for God to answer her. 
Although she had suitors, no one was 
the "perfect" one, until God's time was 
right! We know God could arrange 
events immediately, but more often He 
arranges other circumstances to be in 
order, according to His timing. 

The author's recipe for a prayerful 
life is this: 

(1) Pray early and often — through- 
out the day 

(2) Prayer concentration — erase 
thoughts which interfere when I'm 
talking with God 

(3) Forgive someone — forgive us 
our debts as we forgive 

(4) Expect — but don't demand 

(5) Be willing to wait — God's tim- 
ing is always best. 

God is concerned about our small 
needs as well as the major needs. 
Nothing is too trivial for Him. 

The author of "What a Friend We 
have in Jesus" knew many of us! He 
knew that frequently we struggle in a 
dilemma. When all of our self-directed 
plans fail, then we seek God's help and 
the solution is clear. Wouldn't it be 
easier to ask God first? We practice 
the maxim, "When all else fails, read 
the directions." Not only do we have 
the directions, but we also have the di- 
rection-giver, God Himself. 

"Oh what peace we often forfeit, 
Oh what needless pain we bear, 
All because we do not carry 
Everything to God in prayer." 

Knowing that God can answer our 
prayers that we ask in His name re- 
quires trust. Think back to the account 
in I Chronicles 5, when an army of 
44,760 men was able-bodied and trained 
for battle. They were capable and armed 
and yet they sought God's help: ". . . 
they cried out to him during the battle. 
He answered their prayers, because 
they trusted in him. . . . the battle was 
God's." We don't have to struggle or 
fight through each day; He is there to 
lead us. We need to ask in prayer and 
believe (Mark 11:24). 

Many books and articles are written 
about this important subject, and so it 
should be. Each one is a strengthening 
tool for us. We need to ask, seek, and 
knock (Matthew 7:7). Let us enter into 
Christ's presence quietly and listen. 
"Be still and know that I am God: I 
will be exalted among the heathen, I 
will be exalted in the earth" (Psalm 







Dear Friends, 

"Grace to you and peace from God 
our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." 

I wanted to take this time to express 
my heartfelt thanks for the scholar- 
ship I received on behalf of the 
Woman's Missionary Society. I must 
tell you right off that, if it were not for 
that contribution, I would have had a 
very hard time entering into my last 
year in school due to my financial situ- 
ation. I was taken back when I was 
informed of the gift and I continue to 
praise God for providing for me. 

I will graduate on May 13 from Ash- 
land University with a degree in Relig- 
ion and Music Performance. I will then 
serve as a Program Coordinator for 
Wooster Outdoors Center in Wooster, 
Ohio. Then, I will enter into Ashland 
Theological Seminary's Midwest Coun- 
seling Program for a M.A. in Pastoral 

I hope to return to my home in Tuc- 
son, Arizona, for a visit with my new 
nephew and niece (Matthew and 
Gabriela were born March 25). I have 
missed my large Mexican-American 
family very much and I greatly look 
forward to sharing my future plans 
with them. They have been very sup- 
portive in my personal quest of serving 
the Lord on a full-time basis and at- 
taining my education in order to better 
equip myself to do so. 

It will be hard to give up my position 
as Student Coordinator for H.O.P.E. 
Christian Fellowship, as well as my 
position as University Church board 
member. However, I feel that, if it 
were not for the many opportunities 
for me to serve in these and several 
other leadership roles, I would not be 
able to say that I have been faithful to 
the Lord's calling on my life to serve 
Him on an everyday basis. 

I will close with the words of our 
awesome God: 

" Tor I know the plans I have for you,' 
declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you 
and not to harm you, plans to give you 
hope and a future.' " (Jeremiah 29:11) 

I thank you for your contribution to- 
ward my future. I ask for your contin- 
ued prayers as I continue on through 
Seminary and enter into full-time serv- 
ice in order to further God's kindgom. 

"Peace to the Brethren, and love 
with faith, from God the Father and 
the Lord Jesus Christ." 

Because of Calvary, 
Karen E. Robins 

Ok JiicmoricuH 

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the 
death of his saints. Psalm 116:15 

The Senior WMS at the Bethlehem, 
Virginia, Brethren Church lost our 
best friend and president, Mae Logan 
Wenger, when she passed away De- 
cember 16, 1994. She was a "super" 
Christian lady and had played the or- 
gan at church for 82 years. She served 
almost every position in the church 
and Sisterhood, Signal Lights, and 
Christian Endeavor. She was presi- 
dent and vice president of the district 
WMS and always attended the meet- 
ings. We talked Thursday night, and 
the next morning she was with the 
Lord — she and the Lord worked that 
out perfectly! Plans for memorial gifts 
include automatic chimes and a brass 
plaque in the church. 

(This note was signed by Ellen Logan, 
Anna Lambert, and Neva Waggy.) 

^district Qoiw 

Eileen Higgins reported from the 
SARASOTA Evening WMS: They cur- 
rently are planning their Mother and 
Daughter banquet in May and the 
public service program. With the Day 
society, they sponsored the World Day 
of Prayer program March 1. 

Fundraisers were selling Avon prod- 
ucts, then buying a mixer for the 
kitchen with the proceeds and, with 
the Day ladies, contributing articles to 
a consignment shop. That profit was 
designated for the church's new carpet. 

The OHIO ladies elected officers at 
the district conference in March. 
Wanda Powell is the new president. 
Make the change in the January-Feb- 
ruary Newsletter, which is the WMS 
directory. Wanda lives at 9 Oakwood, 
Beloit, Ohio 44609. Her telephone 
number is 216-938-3291. 

Prayer Poem Wins 
National Recognition 

Roxie Stahl, a member of the 
HUNTINGTON Brethren Church and 
WMS, received the 1994 Editor's 
Choice Award from the National Li- 
brary of Poetry for her poem, "For This 
I Pray." The judges placed her poem 
among the best three percent of all 
contest entries, and it is published in 
the anthology Outstanding Poets of 

Roxie is pleased to have her poem 
reprinted in the Newsletter. It is one 
means of her witness, and may you 
find a renewed spiritual strength. 

For This I Pray 

Jesus, Light of Heaven, 
Enter Thou my soul; 
Quicken Thou my spirit, 
Cleanse me, make me whole. 

Search me, try me, Jesus; 
Bend me to Thy will, 
Temper my impurities 
Make me meek and still. 

Teach me, Jesus, teach me 
All that I must know — 
Of duty, faith, and charity, 
My life — Thy love to show. 

Love me, Jesus, love me, 
When I Thy Spirit grieve, 
Help me, Jesus, help me 
To live as I believe. 

For I believe in Thee, Lord; 
Heaven is my goal. 
Jesus, Light of Heaven, 
Enter Thou my soul. 


Published bimonthly in January, 
March, May, July, September, and 
November by the Woman's Missionary 
Society of The Brethren Church. 

Mrs. Dorman Ronk, Editor 
1325 Coachman Court 
Ashland, Ohio 44805 

Subscription price, $7.50 per year in 

Send all subscriptions to Mrs. Robert 
Kroft, 608 Twp. Road 1151, RD 5, Ash- 
land, OH 44805. 

Woman's Outlook Newsletter 

3/Ussionari/ ^jMscdlamj 

Hello from STAKE,* 

Enclosed is the list of Tentmakers' 
addresses, birth dates, and phone 
numbers. We wanted to send an up- 
date for you. We are getting set to be- 
gin a second "cell" group. Please keep 
us in your prayers. We look forward to 
getting news from other Brethren. 

Come down for a visit as well. 

Vanda Funkhouser (3/16) 

4145 Enchanted Oaks Circle, #316 
Kissimmee, FL 34741 

Robert Geddes (9/23) 407-823-9546 
2325 S. Conway Road, #519 
Orlando, FL 32812 

Annalee Hoover (5/28) 407-847-2434 
2414 Abby Dr., #204 
Kissimmee, FL 34741 

Dawn Kidd (6/15) 407-847-2434 
2414 Abby Dr., #204 
Kissimmee, FL 34741 

Enid Schrader (8/22) 407-931-0269 
1385D W. Donegan Ave. 
Kissimmee, FL 34741 

Kerry Scott (5/25) 407-931-0910 
Denise Scott (7/28) 
2603 Oak Run Blvd. 
Kissimmee, FL 34744 

Kyle (2/5) 

Kristin (2/19) 

Kenton (5/20) 

Linda Yoder (11/4) 407-348-2539 
137 B Jones Lane 
Kissimmee FL 34743 

Jeff (1/24) 

Joshua (3/10) 

God Bless You. 

'STAKE stands for Saturation of the 
Target Area for Kingdom Extension 

The Northern California District 
and the Missionary Board have begun 
a project to start a number of new 
churches in Northern California. Archie 
Nevins and his family will move to 
that area in August to coordinate this 
ministry. Pray for them as they re- 
locate and for the Springboro congre- 
gation during this transition. 

Continue your prayers for Reilly and 
Cindy Smith. Reilly is the new Execu- 
tive Director of the Missionary Board 
and began learning his new responsi- 
bilities in April. He and Jim traveled 
to India and Malaysia in January and 
February, and then to Mexico in April. 
Reilly 's family is staying in Mulvane, 
Kansas, until the end of the school 
year, so pray for them and the Mul- 

May^June 1995 

vane congregation as they search for a 
new pastor. 

Missionaries-of-the-Month (May) are 
Prasanth and Nirmala Kumar and 
their son, Sudhir, in India, and David 
and Jenny Loi, and their children, 
Stephen and Rebecca, in Malaysia. 
Jim and Reilly have articles, reports, 
and pictures of these families. Watch 
for current information in The Breth- 
ren Evangelist, at conferences, and 
when someone visits your church. 

The June missionaries-of-the-month 
are home missions families: Jim and 
Ann Miller with Bryan, Luke, Annie, 
and David in Carmel, Indiana, and 
Tom and Tiona Conrad in Greenwood, 
Indiana. The Carmel congregation is 
self-supporting; the Greenwood fellow- 
ship is young. Both congregations need 
and appreciate your prayers. 

The President's Pen 

(continued from page 1) 
speaker and you won't want to miss 
hearing her. We will have two (maybe 
three) business sessions, when we will 
have elections, hear reports, and make 
some changes in the WMS Constitu- 

This is the time of year for the 
Mother-Daughter banquests or Ladies 
banquets, whatever your church calls 
them. Please write to Joan Ronk and 
let her know what is happening in 
your church. This makes excellent 
reading for all ladies of The Brethren 
Church and might give ideas to some- 
one planning just such a banquet. I 
always look forward to seeing what 
other groups are doing, and I am sure 
many others feel as I do. 

My love to each of you, and let's get 
busy on our Spring-Cleaning — in our 
homes and in our lives. God bless each 
of you. 

In Christian Love, 
Shirley Black 


The FREMONT Society is revital- 
ized! The duo-pastors' wives, Marcia 
Miller and Judy McLaughlin, are the 
organizers of the Woman's Missionary 
Society. In December, for their first 
meeting, four ladies attended. In Janu- 
ary their attendance doubled to eight 
and in February there were twelve! No 
wonder they are excited — their group 
includes younger girls and older la- 
dies. Their dues are adjusted to cover 
those who may not be able to pay the 
usual amount. The National WMS pro- 
vided literature for them, as is the pol- 
icy in the first year for new societies. 
We give thanks for their prayers and 
planning, and now for their presence 
among the Woman's Missionary Socie- 
ties. They desire to support the minis- 
tries of The Brethren Church through 

We see their organization — includ- 
ing younger ladies — as an ideal exam- 
ple of mentoring. This is Commitment 
10 in action! 



On my daily calendar for April 1: 

Spring cleaning should begin with 
the head and end with the heart. 

— Anon. 


August 7-11, 1995 

Ashland, Ohio 





(second year) 




For the public service in HUNT- 
INGTON March 5, Judy Eckerley of 
the Mishawaka Brethren Church pre- 
sented a challenging and inspiring 
message entitled The God Who is Big 
Enough." Basing her message on Num- 
bers 13 and 14, Judy told of the Israel- 
ites' experiences with the giants of 
Canaan, then compared our own mis- 
takes with theirs. Roxie Stahl reports 
some of Judy's thoughts: 

"Do we believe that the God who has 
brought us this far is big enough to 
handle what we are facing now? 

"Often we direct our attention to the 
problem and not to God; then the prob- 
lem gets bigger and Bigger, and BIG- 

"Ask yourself, 'How big is my God? 
Do I need to firm up?' There is a big 
difference between pride, arrogance, 
and confidence." 

Judy reminded the congregation of 
the rebellion and grumblings of the 
Israelites against God (Numbers 14) 
and stated that "Grumbling spreads. It 
defeats us." 

"Are you facing a giant? You have 
two choices. Run from it or choose to 
believe that, whatever giant is in your 
life, God can handle it. Give Him the 

Participants in the service were 
Marjorie Teusch, Pat Lusch, Roxie 
Stahl, Helen Dickson, Judy Lee, Peg 
Stahl, Carol Tucker, and Olive Teusch. 
A trio of Wanda Armantrout, Ruth 
Keplinger, and Pat Lusch sang; pianist 
was Rick Forrester and organist was 
Lois Fox. 

For the ASHLAND Park Street pub- 
lic service, Dr. and Mrs. Ron Sprunger 
presented a service of Heartfelt Wor- 
ship February 12. Laura May Riffle 
and Gaylene Kennelly reported that it 
truly was heartfelt. It was a worship- 
ful time in word, drama, and music. 

The Sprungers and a male ensemble 
from the Seminary led us as worship- 
ers to experience the presence of God 
in our hearts. The progression and the 
flow of beautiful music, blended with 
some words, deepened our beliefs in 
our great God. 

Martin Luther, in a dialogue, came 
to tell us how important it was for us 
to give thanks, to praise, and to rejoice 
in song. This was emphasized with the 
men singing the hymn, "A Mighty For- 
tress is Our God." In another dialogue, 
we were taken down the road to the 

Woman at the Well talking with Jesus 
about the Living Water. We looked in- 
ward to see if we had taken just a sip 
or if we had taken fully of what is of- 
fered. Since we are to sing and make a 
joyful song to the Lord, we raised our 
voices and sang to Him who loves un- 
questionably! The beautiful words of 
the hymns and I Am Jesus choruses 
sung by the men and the congregation 
blended with the organ and piano mu- 
sic by the Sprungers. We felt His pres- 
ence as He touched us in our time of 
worship. It was a meaningful experi- 
ence for all of us who absorbed and 
contemplated all He is and all He ever 
will be. 

An enjoyable fellowship hour fol- 
lowed. The tables were laden with 
heart cookies, continuing the heart/ 
valentine theme. 


Joan Merrill is excited about the 
"quilt" items that are planned for the 
auction at General Conference. Plans 
so far include a comforter made from 
the sheet that the children created last 
year at the Kids' Konference, a pieced 
pillow, a vest, an apron, and probably 
a few tote bags. As of now, we won't be 
quilting at Conference. 

If you plan to send quilt squares, the 
guidelines are in the November- 
December 1994 Outlook Newsletter. 

Tktdiftr's Bidiy 

Dear Friend, 

If you think there is an emphasis on 
prayer in this Newsletter, you are cor- 
rect. I see an urgency in prayer, as 
Joanne Kroft alluded to in her devo- 
tions. Not that we wait for major di- 
lemmas, but the circumstances of our 
country and ourselves merit out total 
dependence upon God. Participating in 
the National Day of Prayer in May is 
only the beginning of returning our 
country to God. That is a huge project, 
but it begins with me. 

In my comfy rocking chair, I read 
Deborah by James Shott, one of our 
reading circle books. This is a novel, 

based on the Scriptures, about Debo- 
rah, the first female judge of Israel. 
The uppermost theme was her total 
dependence upon God and, conse- 
quently, how she saved the nation of 

We women, bonded together, can ac- 
complish great things, also. The spe- 
cific needs of our missionaries, the 
denominational interests, plans for 
General Conference and the auxiliary 
meetings — all need advanced prayer 
with their plans. Specifically pray for 
the WMS Executive Board in their 
May meeting, that their plans and de- 
cisions will be God's will. 

Your prayer list is unique, just as 
mine. This week I crossed off the needs 
of one family who needed to sell their 
house and relocate, another family 
whose plans changed and needed to 
cancel their house plans, the pain — 
literally in the neck — which doesn't go 
away, successful surgery, safe travel- 
ing for several. It's a joy to acknow- 
ledge God's love and care! Almost daily 
I add a concern to share with the Lord 
and, when the answer comes, I say a 
thank-you prayer. God is faithful. 

Send your prayers and encourage- 
ment cards to the new WMS in Fre- 
mont to the church address: 216 S. 
Park Avenue, Box 574, Fremont, OH 
43420. We will look for the Fremont 
delegates at General Conference. 

A few societies have reported on 
their Commitment 10: to encourage 
and nurture the girls and young women 
in their church. Ideas are mentoring 
(meeting regularly in a one-on-one set- 
ting, then talking, listening, and pray- 
ing together); inviting them to a special 
meeting (Christmas, Mother-Daughter 
activities); secret sister/pal/friend, and 
revealing the names at a summer 
party. Do you have another idea? 

As your society compiles activities 
for the year, list your ideas to be sent 
to the general secretary. I will include 
them in future issues. 

The WMS luncheon will be Wednes- 
day, August 9. Jill Briscoe will be the 
featured speaker. Plan to attend! 

When the WMS Executive Commit- 
tee meets in May, suggested reading 
circle books will be chosen. I will send 
a listing to your president, although 
the books will be listed in the July- 
August Newsletter. By receiving the 
information early, your decisions can 
be made before your delegates come to 

Your friend, 

(J Joan 

Woman's Outlook Newsletter 

Mrs. Maria Miranda, and Rev. 
Ronald W. Waters. 

One of the highlights of the con- 
vention was the closing banquet, 
at which retiring Executive Direc- 
tor Billy A. Melvin was honored for 
his 28 years as head of NAE. 

The "Leadership Sessions" at the 
convention were devoted to "An 
Evangelical Response to Racism," 
a topic related to the convention 
theme. Speakers for these two ses- 
sions were Jack W. Hayford, pas- 
tor of The Church on the Way in 
Van Nuys, Calif.; and Ronald Pot- 
ter, assistant professor of Christian 
Thought and Contemporary Cul- 
ture at the Center for Urban Theo- 
logical Studies in Philadelphia, Pa. 

David Rambo, president of NAE, 
outlined five specific objectives for 
the association in his presidential 
address to the convention, namely: 
addressing the need for racial rec- 
onciliation; increasing the participa- 
tion of women in NAE; acknowl- 
edging the need for younger lead- 
ership in the association; welcom- 
ing into NAE more parachurch 
organizations and megachurches; 
and centering NAE's efforts on the 
re-evangelization of America. He also 
paid tribute to retiring Executive 
Director Billy A. Melvin, stating 
that "NAE's success, humanly speak- 
ing, cannot be explained apart from 
this dedicated man and his wife." 

NAE Resolution 

Compassion for Immigrants and Refugees 

As Christians, we are called to joy- 
fully share our faith and hope with all 
people. As followers of Jesus Christ, 
we are guided by love. The Bible re- 
peatedly declares God's love and care 
for all people, and requires that The 
same law shall apply to the native- 
born as to the alien living among you" 
(Exod. 12:49). Similarly, "You are to 
have the same law for the alien and 
the native-born. I am the Lord your 
God" (Lev. 24:22). 

The National Association of Evan- 
gelicals (NAE) is deeply concerned by 
a growing spirit of hostility towards im- 
migrants and refugees who have be- 
come residents in our communities. 
While we recognize that some of our 
constituency feel strongly concerning 
issues of justice and law, we are all 
compelled by the love of Christ to act 
with compassion to our neighbors. 

Therefore, we pledge to eliminate the 
spbit of racism in any of our responses. 
While we recognize the right of nations 
to regulate their borders, we believe 
this responsibility should be exercised 
with a concern for the entire human 
family in a spirit of generosity and com- 
passion (Deut. 10:19, Leviticus 19:34). 

Furthermore, we acknowledge that 
immigrants and refugees contribute 
much to the continuing strength and 
vitality of local communities and our 
country by their commitment to work, 
education, and the family. 

We call upon our government, there- 
fore, to maintain reasonable and just 
admissions policies for refugees and 
immigrants. As evangelicals responsi- 
ble to love our neighbors as ourselves 
(Matt. 22:39), we are called to show 
personal and corporate hospitality to 
those who seek a new iife in our nation. 

Darlene Melvin, wife of Dr. Billy 
Melvin, also received special recog- 
nition at the convention. She was 
presented World Relief Corpora- 
tion's 16th annual Helping Hands 
Award, given annually to an indi- 
vidual who best exemplifies a 
spirit of dedication to serving the 
needs of the world's poor and 
homeless. Mrs. Melvin was recog- 
nized "for a life devoted to quiet 
and consistent acts of compassion 

NAE Resolution 

U.S. Foreign Aid and Humanitarian Assistance 

With the end of the Cold War and 
the need to reduce the Federal 
budget, U.S. foreign aid commitments 
are under congressional review. The 
National Association of Evangelicals 
(NAE) understands the need for this 
review and welcomes any effort to 
eliminate waste, corruption and mis- 
use of funds. We support ongoing ef- 
forts in the Congress to restructure 
USAID, and other international hu- 
manitarian organizations, so that those 
involved in administering foreign aid 
funds are held accountable. 

We support efforts to focus U.S. for- 
eign aid on such programs as micro- 
enterprise development and child 
survival that have demonstrated the 
ability to make a real difference in the 
lives of those in need. We encourage 
the utilization of private, voluntary or- 
ganizations, such as our own World 
Relief Corporation, which can supple- 

ment U.S. government funds with sup- 
port from private donors, operate with 
minimal overhead, and work effec- 
tively to bring hope to people at the 
local level. 

We strongly believe that any review 
of the U.S. foreign aid budget should 
safeguard our country's benevolence 
to those in desperate need. Although 
our country cannot solve all of the 
world's problems, our foreign aid 
should be available to care for victims 
of war and disaster, reduce chronic 
poverty, and assist with health care for 
those exposed to preventable ill- 

We urge the U.S. Congress, there- 
fore, to approve foreign aid budgets 
that will protect and strengthen our na- 
tion's long-standing tradition of hu- 
manitarian concern and bring hope to 
those who are displaced, hungry, and 
in need. 

May 1995 

to the less fortunate through her 
church." Mrs. Melvin was pivotal 
in forming an English language 
training program for refugees in 
Wheaton, 111. She also adopted 
many refugee families and reached 
out as well to handicapped widows 
and single women. 

NAE's 1995 Layperson of the Year 
Award went to JoAnne Jankowski, 
who was honored for "demonstrat- 
ing a deep loyalty and commitment 
to a wide variety of Christian ac- 
tivities and especially to the Na- 
tional Association of Evangelicals." 
Mrs. Jankowski, who is a lawyer, 
serves as a member of NAE's Board 
of Administration and on the ex- 
ecutive committee. She and her 
husband publish the EP News Serv- 
ice and the Minnesota Christian 

Kenneth R. Taylor, founder and 
chairman of the board of Tyndale 
House Publishers, was presented 
the James DeForest Murch Award 
for his excellence of editing skills 
and his leadership in evangelical 
publishing. He is probably best 
known for his paraphrase of Scrip- 
ture — The Living Bible. 

At the convention business ses- 
sion two resolutions — "Compassion 
for Immigrants and Refugees" and 
"U.S. Foreign Aid and Humanitar- 
ian Assistance" (printed on this page) 
— were adopted, in addition to the 
position paper mentioned above. [1r] 


1995 Brethren Church Summer Ministries 

THREE DISTRICTS will be participating in the 
1995 District Crusader program. Fielding 
teams this summer will be the Pennsylvania, Cen- 
tral, and Southeastern Districts. 

Young people serving in the District Crusader 
program are those who have completed the tenth, 
eleventh, or twelfth grade of high school. District 
Crusaders serve within their own districts. 

Pennsylvania District Crusaders 

Four young people will be serving as Pennsylva- 
nia District Crusaders this summer. All four are 
first-year Crusaders. 

Jeremy Tarr, from the Brush Valley Brethren 
Church in Adrian, Pennsylvania, will serve as the 
team captain. Erin Leidy of Conemaugh, Monica 
Hoffman from Berlin, and Michelle Rosie from Ma- 
sontown are the other members of the team. 

i; r ::: 

Jeremy Tarr 

Erin Leidy 

Michelle Rosie 

Monica Hoffman 

This team will work with two different vacation 
Bible schools, one at the Wayne Heights Brethren 
Church in Waynesboro, Pa., and the other at the 
First Brethren Church in Cameron, West Virginia. 
They will also work with the Pennsylvania Junior 
Camp and assist with various activities at the 
Pennsylvania District Youth Conference in July. 

Central District Crusaders 

This is the first summer that the Central Dis- 
trict is fielding a District Crusader team. Two 
young men — Aaron Hollewell and Brad Linboom, 
both of whom are from the Lanark, 111., First 
Brethren Church — will make up this team. 

Brad Linboom 

Aaron Hollewell 

Aaron and Brad will serve for three weeks. They 
will spend one week at the Central District camp 
and two weeks working with vacation Bible school, 
serving one week each at the Lanark and Milledge- 
ville, 111., Brethren Churches. 

Southeastern District Crusaders 

The Southeastern District will field two Crusader 
teams this summer. Team 1 will be comprised of 
three members. Jenna Bowen, a second-year Cru- 
sader, will serve as captain. Jenna is a member of 
the Oak Hill, West Virginia, First Brethren Church. 
The other two team members, who are first-year 
Crusaders, are Laurie Baker from the St. James, 
Maryland, Brethren Church, and Missy Allen from 
the Oak Hill First Brethren Church. This team will 
serve at the Southeastern Middler camp and with 
the Krypton Brethren Church vacation Bible school 
in Krypton, Kentucky. (Pictures on next page.) 


The Brethren Evangelist 

Team 2 is comprised 
of three first-year Cru- 
saders. Rachel Penning- 
ton of the Oak Hill First 
Brethren Church will 
serve as team captain. 
Serving with her will be 
Jennifer Maginnis from 
the St. James Brethren 
Church as well as Jason 

Crouch, also from the 
Oak Hill First Brethren 
Church. This team will 
work with the South- 
eastern Middler camp 
and also spend a week 
working with vacation 
Bible school at the Hag- 
erstown, Maryland, First 
Brethren Church. [ft} 

Jenna Bowen 

Rachel Pennington 

Laurie Baker 

Missy Allen 

Jennifer Maginnis 

Jason Crouch 

A TEAM of seven young people will be participating in 
a short-term missions trip to Mexico in June. 

Leading the team will be Jennifer Thomas, one of the 
co-leaders of last year's mission trip to Mexico. Jen is a 
member of Park Street Brethren Church in Ashland, 
Ohio, and has been working with the youth at the First 
Brethren Church in Louisville, Ohio. Assisting Jen in 
leading the team will be Ed Strickland, who attends the 
University Church in Ashland, Ohio. 

Five young women will make up the rest of the team. 
Members of last year's team who are returning for their 
second summer are Michelle Mathews from the Nap- 
panee, Ind., First Brethren Church; Christina Godefrin 
from the Sarasota, Fla., First Brethren Church; and Amber 
Corbitt from the Waterbrook Brethren Church in Edin- 
burg, Virginia. 

First-year members of the team are Jackie Shipman 
from the Ardmore Brethren Church in South Bend, Indi- 
ana; and Stefanie Grindle from the First Brethren Church 
in Wabash, Indiana. 

The team will serve one week in Juarez, Mexico. [ft] 

May 1995 


1995 Brethren Church Summer Ministries 

Young Adult Ministries 

ing the traditional Summer Crusader and Cru- 
sader Internship programs in 1995. Those who ap- 
plied to serve in this ministry experience com- 
pleted an extensive application in which they indi- 
cated their particular gifts, the types of ministry 
experience in which they were interested, and their 
vocational objectives. 

For those applicants who were accepted, minis- 
try locations were chosen to match as closely as 
possible the developmental needs of each individ- 
ual. Terms of service will be a minimum of five 
weeks in one location. 

Five young adults will be serving in the 1995 

Andrew Crum 

Andrew Crum 

Chris Diehl 

Chris will spend his 
summer serving in the 
area of pastoral ministry 
at the Gretna Brethren 
Church near Bellefon- 
taine, Ohio. This will be 
his second summer serv- 
ing with this congrega- 
tion. He is a member of 
the Fairless Hills-Levit- 
town Brethren Church in 
Levittown, Pa., and a 
1995 graduate of Phila- 
delphia College of The 

Andrew is a member 
of the First Brethren 
Church in Burlington, 
Ind. He is a 1995 gradu- 
ate of Ball State Univer- 
sity in Muncie, Ind., and 
previously served one 
year on a Summer Cru- 
sader team and one year 
as a Crusader Intern. 
Andrew will serve this 
summer at the First 
Brethren Church in 
Peru, Ind., in the area of 
pastoral ministry. 

Kayleen Gibson 

Jaime Gillespie 

Jaime is a member of 
the Vinco Brethren 
Church, Mineral Point, 
Pa. A 1995 high school 
graduate, she plans to 
attend Ashland Univer- 
sity this fall. She served 
the past two summers on 
the Pennsylvania Dis- 
trict Crusader team, last 
year as team captain. 
This summer she will 
serve with the Southwest 
District camping pro- 
gram in Arizona. 

Kayleen Gibson 

Kayleen graduates this 
spring from Ashland 
High School and plans to 
attend Mt. Vernon (Ohio) 
Nazarene College in the 
fall. She will serve this 
summer as a full-time 
staff member at Camp 
Bethany. Kayleen at- 
tends the Park Street 
Brethren Church in Ash- 
land and served the past 
two summers as captain 
of the Ohio District Cru- 
sader teams. 

Chris Diehl 

Christy Van Duyne 

Jaime Gillespie 

Christy Van Duyne 

Christy will serve at 
the Brethren Retreat 
Center in Shipshewana, 
Indiana, this summer as 
Activity Director in the 
areas of music and 
drama. She is a member 
of the Park Street Breth- 
ren Church in Ashland, 
Ohio, and will graduate 
from Ashland High 
School this spring. She 
plans to attend Grace 
College in Winona Lake, 
Ind., in the fall. [tf] 


The Brethren Evangelist 



Goshen Church Surprises Pastor Donald Rowser 
With Celebration of His 10 Years at the Church 

Goshen, Ind. — An air of excitement 
permeated the filled sanctuary of the 
Goshen First Brethren Church on Sun- 
day morning, March 26, as members 
and friends of the church prepared to 
honor Pastor Donald Rowser and his 
wife, Charlene, for their ten years of 
service to the congregation. 

The service began as usual, with an 
invocation and time of praise. But fol- 
lowing announcements, much to Pastor 
Rowser's surprise, the service was inter- 
rupted and the celebration began. 

Each Sunday school class presented a 
tribute to the Rowsers. The Friendship 
Class give them "love notes" and a rose 
from each couple, forming a beautiful 
bouquet. The senior high class per- 
formed a skit on how "seeds" are nur- 
tured by the church and grow into 
Christian young adults. Even the young 
children paraded down the aisle of the 
sanctuary to present flowers to the pas- 
toral couple. In addition to the flowers, 
the Rowsers also received balloons, 
cards, a butterfly sanctuary, as well as 
a monetary gift from the congregation. 

Special music was also a part of the 
celebration. The adult choir sang "Carry 
the Light"; the children's choir sang sev- 
eral numbers, including "We Are the 
Children"; and a men's quartet (Glenn 

Commissioning Service Held 
For Clair Knappenberger, Jr. 

Vandergrift, Pa. — Clair Knappen- 
berger, Jr., was commissioned for pas- 
toral ministry of the Sarver, Pa., Breth- 
ren Church in a special service held 
Sunday, March 5, at the Pleasant View 
Brethren Church. 

The Pennsylvania District Board of 
Oversight approved Knappenberger for 
commissioning as pastor of the Sarver 
Church for 18 months. At the end of this 
period he will enter the pastoral minis- 
try licensing program. 

Rev. R. Keith Hensley, pastor of the 
Pleasant View Church, led the commis- 
sioning service, which was attended by 
Brethren from both the Sarver and the 
Pleasant View congregations. Deacons 
and deaconesses from both churches 
laid hands on Clair and his wife, Debbie, 
as they were commissioned. A fellow- 
ship dinner for Brethren from the two 
churches was held following the service. 

Clair was born and raised in the Van- 

May 1995 

Black, Trent Hostetler, Greg Pollock, 
and Jeff Parker) sang "Amazing Grace." 
A video was shown which captured 
moments from the past, including those 
in which Pastor Rowser was the star. At 

The service concluded with the read- 
ing of scripture and prayer by Associate 
Pastor Dave Kline. Following the serv- 
ice, a carry-in dinner was held. 

Approximately 220 people attended 
the celebration, including the Rowsers' 
daughter, Tracy Whiteside, and her fam- 
ily; former associate pastors of the church 
who served with Pastor Rowser; numer- 
ous friends of the Rowsers; and, of course, 

The little children honor the Rowsers with flowers. 

Photo by Shelly Wilf ong. 

the end of the video was a taped message 
of love from the Rowsers' son, David, 
and his family, who live in Texas and 
were unable to attend the celebration. 

members of the congregation. The cele- 
bration was planned by Cindy Hostet- 
ler, Betty Gray, and Sherry Condor. 

— reported by Anna Bollinger 

dergrift area, where he became a mem- two daughters, Candice and Melissa. 

ber of the Pleasant View Brethren 
Church. He is employed as a machinist 
at Gentile Manufacturing Company of 
Hyde Park, Pa. Clair and Debbie have 

— reported by Nancy McGraw 

Your job skills are needed now in Christian 
service! intercristo's Christian Placement 
Network will connect you with job leads that 
will change your world for the better. 

CALL TOLL FREE 1-800426-1342 

or return the coupon below 

Clair and Debbie Knappenberger and 
their daughters, Melissa (I.) and Candice. 

I City/State/Zip. 
■ Publication 


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Seattle, WA 98133-3800 







Mt. Olive Brethren Honor the Areharts 
As Their Sweetheart Couple of the Year 

Pineville, Va. — Jake and Georgie 
Arehart were honored as the Sweet- 
heart Couple of the Year for 1995 at the 
annual Sweetheart Banquet held Sun- 
day, February 12, at the Mount Olive 
Brethren Church. 

The Areharts were honored during 
the course of the day with comments, a 
corsage and boutonniere, and a beauti- 
fully decorated cake (baked and deco- 
rated by Robin Cash). A special table 
was also prepared for them and their 
family at the banquet, with pictures 

from their years together displayed on 
the table. 

Approximately 110 people attended 
the covered-dish banquet held in the 
attractively decorated fellowship hall. 
Following the meal, they returned to 
the sanctuary for a highly entertaining 
"Marriage Game." Four couples — 
Randy and Sheila Armentrout, Terry 
and Connie Comer, Brad and Lisa Mor- 
ris, and Reggie and Weber Smith — were 
tested to see how well they knew their 
spouse. Questions ranged from "What is 

the name of the first restaurant to 
which your husband took you?" to "What 
is the oldest leftover in your refrigerator 
today?" It was a close contest, with 
Randy and Sheila pulling out a victory 
on the last question ("What is your hus- 
band's favorite season of the year?"). 

Jake and Georgie Arehart (I.), Mt. Olive's Sweetheart Couple of the Year for 1995, 
with last year's Sweetheart Couple, Ellen and Henry Lineweaver. 

Georgie and Jake Arehart 

Georgie (Downs) and Jake were 
each one of 11 children in their re- 
spective families. During the late 
1930s, Georgie worked with Jake's 
sisters, who then introduced the two 
around 1940. OnMay 22, 1943, Geor- 
gie and Jake were married. 

For a number of years, Jake 
worked as a farmer, first for his 
father and later for J.W. Hinkle. For 
28 years Georgie worked at the Pine- 
ville Service Station, "the most popu- 
lar gathering place in Pineville!" Be- 
fore retiring, Jake worked for White- 
sel Brothers for 25 years, and he con- 
tinues to work part time for Harri- 
sonburg Auto Auction. 

The Areharts have one daughter, 
Nancy (Layne), two grandchildren, 
and three great-grandchildren. 
Georgie enjoys crocheting, embroi- 
dering, and baking, while Jake likes 
to grow flowers and vegetables. They 
have attended the Mt. Olive Breth- 
ren Church since the early 1950s, 
where Georgie taught Sunday school 
for 42 years and Jake served as trus- 
tee and usher. 

— excerpted from a bulletin insert pre- 
pared by Nancy Layne and Debbie Raynes 


Pastor's Wife Victimized 
At 40th Birthday Party 

Vandergrift, Pa. — Teresa Hensley, 
wife of the pastor of the Pleasant View 
Brethren Church, was the victim at a 
dinner and party held Sunday, April 9, 
to memorialize her fortieth birthday. 

Teresa endured the good-natured 
jokes and gag gifts that reminded her of 
her advancing age, and a happy evening 
of laughter was enjoyed by all who at- 
tended the event, including Teresa. 

The special evening, planned by the 
Woman's Missionary Society and the 
Fellowship Committee of the Pleasant 
View Church, was held to show Teresa 
how much her good sense of humor, her 
love and compassion, and her ministry 
within the Pleasant View Church have 
been appreciated during the past eleven 
years that she and her husband, Rev. 
Keith Hensley, have served the congre- 

— reported by Nancy McGraw 


Her husband, Rev. Keith Hensley, stands by with a fire extinguisher as Teresa 
prepares to blow out the candles on her birthday cakes. 

The Brethren Evangelist 

Little Crusader 

Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder 
them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:14). 

Dear Boys and Girls, 

May is the month that I look forward to the most of all the months of the year. In May 
I get to start planting seeds. I love to work outside in my garden. It's so much fun to watch 
the tiny seeds grow into big, beautiful plants. 

Jesus told a story about a farmer who planted seeds. Some of the seed fell along 
the path, and birds came along and ate it. Some of the seed fell on rocks and started to 
grow. But the sun dried out the plants because they didn't have any roots. Other seed 
fell among thorns, which choked the plants as they grew. But some seed fell on good 
soil, and it grew and grew and grew. The plants became beautiful and had lots of grain. 

Jesus said that we are like the seed in this story. If we hear about God but don't 
listen to His words and obey Him, then we are like the seed that falls on the rocks and 
among the thorns. We need to go to church and listen to God's word and learn more 
about Him. If we do this, we will be like the seed that falls on good soil. We will be able 
to tell others how wonderful God is. We will be just like a plant that produces much 
beautiful grain! 

The parable about the seed is found in Matthew 13:1-9 and 18-23. 

1 . According to verse 23, how much "fruit" will we produce if we listen to and follow God's 

2. What are some things you can 
do to help God's seed in your 
life produce strong plants? Write 
your answers on the flower. 
(Example: read the Bible.) 


May 1995 



Ashland University Holds Groundbreaking 
For New Hawkins-Conard Student Center 

! ■ i 

i : 

Ashland, Ohio — It was a festive occa- 
sion on Friday afternoon, April 21, 
when faculty, staff, students, special 
guests, and friends of Ashland Univer- 
sity gathered on the university campus 
to break ground for the new Hawkins- 
Conard Student Center. 

AU President William Benz was in 
high spirits as he welcomed the crowd 
that attended, introduced the partici- 
pants in the program, then donned cap 
and gown and put his hands to a horse- 
drawn plow and began "breaking ground." 
The horses were in high spirits as well, 
and President Benz had to practically 
run down the furrow to keep up with 
them, robe flowing behind him. 

The use of horses and plow on this 
occasion hearkened back 68 years to a 
groundbreaking held on the campus in 
1927, when then president Dr. Edwin 
Jacobs used this same method to break 
ground for a gymnasium. Following 
President Benz's "run," several other 
participants in the ceremony also took 
a turn with the horses and plow, includ- 
ing AU student Susan Boyd, president 
of the Student Senate; Harvey Young, 
chairman of the Ashland University 
Board of Trustees; and Eugene Ryan, 
chairman of the Conard Foundation. 
Prior to the plowing, these same people 

and several others had brought greet- 
ings during the more formal part of the 
groundbreaking ceremony. That pro- 

gram included an invocation by AU 
President Emeritus Dr. Glenn L. Clay- 
ton, who was president of the university 
when the idea for this student center 
was conceived; and a musical presenta- 
tion by the Ashland University Choir. 
Following the use of the horses and plow 
to break ground, more ground was bro- 

Linwood, Md. — Wayne and Debra Lowman (I.) and Larry and Shirley Garber 
(r.) were ordained as deacons and deaconesses on Sunday, April 2, at the 
Linwood Brethren Church. The service was conducted by Rev. Richard Craver 
(3rd from left), Southeastern District Overseer for the Linwood Church, and Rev. 
Robert Keplinger, pastor of the congregation. 

The Lowmans reside in Hanover, Pa., where Wayne is editor of the Hanover 
Evening Sun. He teaches Sunday school and sings in the church choir. Debra is 
assistant Sunday school superinendent. They have two children, Jed and Emma. 

The Garbers reside in New Windsor, Md., and they own and operate Garber's 
Service in New Windsor. Larry is steward chairman and active in Men of 
Mission. Shirley sings in the choir and formerly taught Sunday school. They 
have three children, Clare, Scott, and Sheila. Reported by Pastor Bob Keplinger 

Having completed his furrow, A U President Dr. William Benz looks on as Harvey 
Young, chairman of the AU Board of Trustees, puts his hands to the plow. Holding 
the reigns is Joe Reed, owner of the horses. 

ken using the traditional shovel meth- 
od, with various representatives of the 
university and Ashland communities 
taking part. 

The Hawkins-Conard Student Center 
is being named in recognition of Earl 
and Betty Hawkins, owners of several 
grocery stories in Ashland and nearby 
communities, who are contributing 
$1 million toward the cost of the build- 
ing; and the Conard Foundation of 
Mansfield, for its commitment of 
$500,000 toward the building. Total cost 
of the Student Center is expected to be 
$6 million ($5 million for construction 
and $1 million for furnishings and 
equipment). More than $3 million has 
already been raised in gifts and pledges. 
The 54,000-square-foot, two-story 
building will house offices for various 
student services, a bookstore, lounge, 
computer area, recreation center/game 
room, auditorium, meeting room, and 
kitchen. Construction will begin in May, 
with completion expected by the fall 1996 
semester. The building will be located at 
"the point" formed by Claremont Ave- 
nue and King Road, with the foot bridge 
over Claremont Avenue joining the 
northwest side of the building. 


The Brethren Evangelist 



Christy Bechtel, a member of the 
Ashland Park Street Brethren Church, 
has been awarded a $6,000 Presidential 
Scholarship by Ashland University. The 
Presidential Scholarship is presented to 
incoming AU freshmen and transfer 
students on the basis of their high 
school grade point average and ACT/ 
SAT scores. Christy is a senior at North- 
western High School, where she is presi- 
dent of her class, co-editor of the year- 
book sports section, and a second year 
member of National Honor Society. 

The Carpenter's Shop, the Breth- 
ren bookstore in Ashland, Ohio, had a 
good year financially in 1994. As a re- 
sult, the bookstore's directors took ac- 
tion at the April 5, 1995, board meeting 
to underwrite several projects that will 
benefit The Brethren Church. The Car- 
penter's Shop will again purchase the 
date books that are distributed to Breth- 
ren pastors and other Brethren elders. 
In addition, up to $1,000 was designated 
to help underwrite the 1996 Brethren 

Pastors Retreat ($500 was designated 
last year for this year's retreat); and a 
donation of $2,500 will be made toward 
the video series on Brethren history and 
doctrine that is being done by The 
Brethren Church's Committee on Doc- 
trine, Research, and Publication. The 
board of directors also declared a divi- 
dend of $10 per share on the company's 
stock. The 300 shares of stock are all 
owned by The Brethren Church. The 
Carpenter's Shop will also be giving 20 
percent discount coupons for purchases 
at the bookstore to those who attend the 
1995 General Conference. 

John Maust, former member of the 
Nappanee, Ind., First Brethren Church 
and for several years contributor of the 
"Developing a Global Vision" column in 
The Brethren Evangelist, became di- 
rector of training for Media Associates 
International in Bloomingdale, 111., at 
the beginning of April. Mr. Maust for- 
merly served as a missionary with Latin 
America Mission and for the last eight 
years as editor of that mission's Latin 
America Evangelist magazine. 

Qmega, the drama ministry of the 
Cheyenne, Wyo., Brethren Church, 

presented two special performances 
during the Easter season. On Good Fri- 
day, the drama team presented The 
Hammer, a dramatic presentation of 
the crucifixion, and during the SonRise 
service on Easter morning, the team 
performed The Risen King. Cheyenne 
member Shannon Cuthbert, who directs 
this ministry, wrote both dramas. 

In Memory 

Kenneth Stephens, 77, April 14. Faithful friend 
of the Hammond Avenue (Waterloo) Brethren 
Church. Services by Pastor Ronald L. Waters. 
Vivian McCann, 83, April 11. Member for 69 
years of the Hammond Avenue (Waterloo) 
Brethren Church, where she was also a member 
of the W.M.S. She was the mother of Brethren 
Elder Marlin McCann. Services by Pastor 
Ronald L. Waters. 

Eileen Curtiss, 58, March 30. Member of the 
Ashland Park Street Brethren Church. Services 
by Pastor Arden Gilmer. 

Kathy Whitted, 50, March 30. Member of the 
Ashland Park Street Brethren Church. Kathy was 
injured in an automobile accident in August 1964 
and had been in an unconscious state since that 
time. Services by Pastor Arden E. Gilmer. 
Irma Mounger, 90, March 16. Longtime mem- 
ber of the Lanark First Brethren Church. Services 
by Pastor Jim Garrett. 

Melvin Traum, 76, March 16. Longtime mem- 
ber of the Lanark First Brethren Church. Services 
by Associate Pastor Robert Schubert 
Helene Ohrt, 78, March 15. Member for 61 
years of the Hammond Avenue (Waterloo) 
Brethren Church. Services by Pastor Ronald L. 

May 1995 


Amanda Thomas to Deryck Lees, April 8, at 
the Loree Brethren Church; Pastor Jim Thomas 
officiating. Bride a member of the Loree Breth- 
ren Church. 

Julie Hammond to Gregg Reed, February 18, 
at the Flora First Brethren Church; Pastor Brian 
Bolinger officiating. Bride a member of the Flora 
First Brethren Church. 

Carla Kay Erbsen to Jonathan Todd Mickey, 
December 17, at the Lanark First Brethren 
Church; Pastor James Garrett officiating. Bride a 
member of the Lanark First Brethren Church. 


Paul and Margaret Miller, 65th, May 7. Mem- 
bers of the Hammond Avenue (Waterloo) Breth- 
ren Church. 

Mr. & Mrs. Roscoe Connor, 75th, April 21. 
Members (Mr. Connor a charter member) of the 
Johnstown Third Brethren Church. 

Membership Growth 

Flora: 1 by transfer 

Lanark: 4 by baptism 

Pleasant View: 1 by baptism 

Falls City: 6 by baptism, 2 by transfer 

The Ashland University Choir will 
be on tour May 14-22. Much of the tour 
will be outside of Brethren areas, but 
the choir will give concerts at St. Stephen 
Martyr Lutheran Church in Canton, 
Ohio (4600 Fulton Dr. NW), at 10:30 
a.m. on Sunday, May 14; at the St. 
Barnabus Episcopal Church in Brack- 
enridge, Pa. (Freeport & Morgan Sts.), 
at 7:30 p.m. on May 14; and at the Lin- 
wood, Md., Brethren Church at 7:00 
p.m. on Monday, May 15. Brethren in 
these areas may wish to take advantage 
of an opportunity to hear Ashland Uni- 
versity's excellent choir. 


A Testimony To Faith 

By Esther Fern Rupel 

Professor of Clothing and Textiles, 

Purdue University 

Published by the 
Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc. 

By the early nineteenth century, 
specific dress items had been pre- 
scribed for members of the Brethren 
movement. This volume presents a 
detailed study of the origins of this 
unique dress style, its variations, as 
well as the later demise of the dress 

More than 200 pages; 
211 photographs. 

Price: $45.00 plus 
$3.00 shipping and handling. 

Available from: 
The Carpenter's Shop 

709 Claremont Avenue 
Ashland, OH 44805 

Brethren Encyclopedia 

313 Fairview Avenue 
Ambler, PA 19002 


Summer Ministries: 

Training Leaders 

Since the 1940s, hundreds of Brethren Church leaders have received training 
through the Crusader Program. These leaders today are serving as pastors, seminary 
professors, Christian 
education directors, de- 
nominational executives, 
overseas missionaries, 
home mission and 
church planting pastors, 
and lay leaders of local 
churches. In fact, many 
first heard their call to 
vocational ministry while 
serving as an Ambassa- 
dor, Summer Crusader, 
Crusader Intern, or Dis- 
trict Crusader. 

Some of the many Brethren who have participated in the summer 
ministries programs of The Brethren Church over the years gathered for 
a reunion at last year's General Conference. 

This summer, 24 Brethren youth and young adults (see pages 12-14) will experi- 
ence an intensive time of summer ministry that will contribute to the development of 
leadership skills — skills they can use now in their local youth groups, high schools, 
and colleges; and skills they can use in future ministry. 

You can help in two ways. First, by praying for 
one or more of these young people. Pray that God 
will speak to them in a special way about his call to 
them for ministry. And pray that they will be sensitive 
each day to God's direction in their summer ministry. 

And, second, you can help by providing financial 
support for the 1995 Brethren Church Summer Min- 
istries program. Your gift this month, be it large 
or small, will make possible this life-changing 
experience for these young people. 

Thank you in advance for your support, 
your gift marked "Summer Ministries" to: 

The Brethren Church, Inc. 

524 College Avenue 
Ashland, OH 44805 



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The Aliens Among Us 

By Richard C. Winfield, Editor 

WHAT DO these people— Peter 
Jennings, television news anchor- 
man; Madeleine Albright, U.S. ambas- 
sador to the United Nations; Elisabeth 
Kubler-Ross, physician/author; Angela 
Lansbury, actress; Sidney Poitier, actor; 
Patrick Ewing, basketball player; Andre 
Previn, pianist/conductor/composer — all 
have in common? In addition to being 
well known, they are all first-generation 
immigrants who left their homelands to 
reside in the United States. 

A hot topic 

Immigration has become a hot topic 
in the last couple of years, due in part to 
the publicity generated by California's 
Proposition 187, which attempted to 
prohibit illegal aliens from receiving 
government-funded benefits, such as 
education and medical care. 

But immigration is not a new issue. 
Benjamin Franklin, one of our nation's 
Founding Fathers, wrote: "Why should 
the Palatine Boors [German immigrants] 
be suffered to swarm into our Settle- 
ments, and by herding together, estab- 
lish their language and Manners to the 
Exclusion of ours? Why should Penn- 
sylvania, founded by the English, be- 
come a Colony of Aliens."* 

Franklin's concerns are some of the 
same ones raised today — the great num- 
ber of immigrants, that they live in cul- 
tural enclaves, that they continue to 
speak their own language rather than 
English. Missing from Franklin's con- 
cerns, at least in this quotation, are to- 
day's allegations that immigrants take 
jobs from other Americans and abuse 
welfare services. 

It should be of interest to us 
that early Brethren would have 
been among that group about 
whom Franklin was concerned. 
The great majority of the early 
Brethren were natives of the 
Palatinate ("Palatine Boors"); 
many of them came to America; 
and a number of them settled in 

•Quoted in the May 15, 1995, is- 
sue of Christianity Today (p. 20) in 
"Here Comes the World" by Tim Staf- 
ford, an article on the immigration 
debate that is well worth reading. 

Germantown in Franklin's home town 
of Philadelphia, where they continued to 
use their own language. In fact, the lan- 
guage shift from German to English in 
the German Baptist Brethren Church 
was not completed until about the mid- 
dle of the 19th century. Yet most mem- 
bers of The Brethren Church today 
would consider themselves about as 
mainstream American as they come. 

The immigration debate involves 
many complex political, economic, and 
cultural issues that are far beyond the 
scope of this brief editorial. I would, 
however, point out a few Christian re- 

Get the facts 

First, if we are going to engage in 
serious discussion about immigration, 
then we need to get the facts. We must 
not base our arguments on prejudice, 
emotion, and self-centeredness. And we 
need to beware of the hate-mongers who 
spread myths and half-truths. 

A good place to start getting the facts 
is the Christianity Today article by Tim 
Stafford quoted earlier. Another source 
of factual information is the National 
Immigration Forum, 220 I Street, NE 
#220, Washington, D.C. 20002-4362. 

Second, as Christians, we have an obli- 
gation to love those who come to our 
country. The Israelites were told: 
"When an alien lives with you in your 
land, do not mistreat him. The alien liv- 
ing with you must be treated as one of 
your native-born. Love him as yourself, 
for you were aliens* in Egypt. I am the 

'Remember, as Brethren our spiritual an- 
cestors were also once aliens — in America! 

Lord your God" (Lev. 19:33, 34; niv). 
As Christians, can we do less? Even if 
we perceive immigrants in some way as 
a threat to our well-being, we are never- 
theless to love them, for we are com- 
manded to love even our enemies. So 
while others may look at this issue from 
a self-centered and ethnocentric point of 
view, we as Christians must be concerned 
about the well-being of immigrants as 
well as the well-being of ourselves and 
our country. 

The world at our doorstep 

Third, immigration brings the world 
to our doorsteps. The Great Commission 
charges us to make disciples of all peo- 
ples. We have the opportunity to reach 
some of those people without leaving our 
own land. And what an opportunity it is! 

It is a well-known fact of church growth 
that people are often most open to the 
gospel during times of major transition 
in their lives. Few transitions are greater 
than moving to a new land and culture. 
It is not surprising, then, that many im- 
migrants are open to the gospel. 

Furthermore, many of those who immi- 
grate to the U.S. come from countries where 
missionaries have not been welcomed 
(China, Vietnam, Cuba, the former So- 
viet Union). Since we could not go to 
them, God has brought them to us. But 
the opportunity is even greater than this. 
Those who come to the U.S. retain con- 
tact with family and friends in their own 
countries. If we can evangelize those 
who come to our country, we also have 
the potential, through them, of reaching 
many more in their homelands. 

In the Book of Revelation John fore- 
sees a time when an uncountable multi- 
tude from every nation, tribe, people, and 
language will stand before the throne of 
God in worship. We who plan to be 
among that international, interracial, in- 
tercultural group in heaven ought to get 
prepared by opening our arms and hearts 
to that same group here on earth. [ft] 

Pontius' Puddle 





MORTAL fry. 

The Brethren Evangelist 



Funderburg Library 

Manchester college 

North IVtenchester, IN 46962 

June 1995 
Volume 117, Number 6 

The Brethren Evangelist 

(ISSN 0747-4288) 


Richard C. Winfield 

Children's Page 

Sandi Rowsey 

Editorial and 
Business Office 

524 College Avenue 

Ashland, OH 44805-3792 

Phone: 419-289-1708 

Published: Monthly (except 
July and August issues are 
combined) by The Brethren 
Church, Inc., 524 College Ave., 
Ashland, OH 44805-3792. Au- 
thors' views are not necessarily 
those of The Brethren Church. 

Subscription Rates: One 

year, $11.50 for 100% church 
lists; $13.50 for church lists 
of five or more names; $14.50 
for individual subscriptions. 
Single-copy price, $1.50. 

Change of Address: Please 
send notice at least three 
weeks in advance. Copy old ad- 
dress from back of magazine 
and send with new address. 

Manuscript Policy: While 
some unsolicited manuscripts 
are accepted, a query letter 
sent first describing a proposed 
manuscript is preferred. In- 
clude a self-addressed, stamped 
envelope with all manuscripts. 
Suggestions and forms for re- 
porting news items are avail- 
able upon request. 

Advertising: The Evangelist 
accepts a limited amount of ad- 
vertising per issue. Rates are 
available upon request. 

Postmaster: Please send Form 
3579 to The Brethren Church, 
524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 

Second Class Postage: Paid 

at Ashland, Ohio. 

Member: Evangelical Press 


The Aliens Among Us by Richard C. Winfield 2 

Some suggestions for taking a Christian point of view toward the 
immigration issue. 

Regaining the Pioneering Spirit by Larry Bolinger 4 

The opportunities for planting new churches in the next few years 
demand Brethren who are willing to move beyond comfortable lifestyles. 

Recruiting Workers for God's Harvest Field by Eric Bargerhuff 5 

Ministerial recruitment needs to be a year-round process in The 
Brethren Church, for it is a matter of eternal significance. 

The People of God by Dale R. Stoffer 6 

God's eternal purpose is to have a people for His own possession 
among whom He will one day dwell in intimate communion. 

A Defense of Believer Immersion as a Standard for 8 

Membership in The Brethren Church by G. Emery Hurd 
Arguments in favor of retaining the current requirement that all members 
of The Brethren Church be believers who have been baptized by immersion. 

A Spiritual Awakening on the Ashland University Campus 10 

by Michael Gleason 

An account of revival that occurred this spring among AU students. 

Ministry Pages General Conference Preview 

1995 General Conference Schedule and Speaker 11 

1995 National BYIC Convention; General Conference 

Registration Information 
1995 General Conference Registration Form 



Children's Page 17 

by Sandi Rowsey 

News-Notes From Around 18 
the World 


Cartoon 2 

Update 14 

From the Grape Vine 16 

Answers to the Little Crusader page: 

1. OBEY 


3. LOVE 




7. You could have written any one of the following references: Exodus 20:12; 
Deuteronomy 5:16; Matthew 15:4; 19:19; Mark 7:10; 10:19; Luke 18:20; 
Ephesians 6:2. 

June 1995 

Regaining the Pioneering Spirit 

By Larry Bolinger 



JESUS, in John 4:35, calls to His 
disciples' attention the fields that 
are ready for harvest. The location 
was the town of Sychar in the hills 
of Samaria, at the place of Jacob's 
well. Dreaded Samaria! The Jews 
hated and feared the Samaritans 
because they had intermarried with 
foreigners and no longer went to 
Jerusalem to worship. 

This was a most unlikely place 
for a spiritual harvest. And to make 
matters worse, the first witness to 
the town was a woman of question- 
able character, who after talking to 
Jesus went into Sychar to tell the 
townspeople about "a man who told 
me everything I ever did"! What a 
strange plan of evangelization! 

The disciples couldn't fathom 
what Jesus had done, let alone His 
words. A harvest here! 

Jesus' time on earth was so short 
that He wasted none of it. He was 
always trying to expand the disci- 
ples' understanding of God's mighty 
power to work in the lives of in- 

Rev. Bolinger, a former Brethren 
missionary to Nigeria, West Africa, 
now lives in Kissimmee, Florida. 

dividuals. So when Jesus spoke of 
the fields that were white unto 
harvest, He meant that that very 
day was a day in which to bring in 
a harvest. He intended to chal- 
lenge them to respond to the lead- 
ing of the Holy Spirit. 

Jesus knew that these disciples 
would be called upon to do things 
they never dreamed of doing. They 
would be called upon to win the 
world for Christ! He also knew that 
despite their experiences, their 
faults, and their many fears, they 
would take on the challenge of 
spreading the good news of forgive- 
ness of sin through faith in the shed 
blood of Christ to everyone — not 
just to Jews. What audacious faith 
Jesus had! 

A great opportunity 

From a brief study of the demo- 
graphics of 22 growing cities, I 
have discovered that more than 
five million people will be moving 
to new locations in the next five 
years, with all the attendant prob- 
lems and adjustments involved in 
relocating. Probably no greater op- 
portunity to plant new congrega- 
tions has been given to church 
groups in this century. Perhaps 
not since the 19th century has op- 
portunity reached such proportions 
that church groups have been forced 
to reach beyond any imaginable 
plan and look for God's help in re- 
sponding to the challenge. 

As the pioneers of the 1800s 
moved from their comfortable life- 
styles to the unknown wilderness 
to the west, they discovered that 
even the most difficult tasks could 

be accomplished when they 
teamed up with their neighbors. 
The rigors of the pioneer life 
proved the power of Christian 
charity and made the resulting fel- 
lowship extremely attractive to the 
unbeliever. Those pioneers became 
the leaven that changed lives. 

Pioneers again needed 

In this age of movement, with 
the stress it brings to families, pio- 
neers are once again needed to 
prove in the crucible of everyday 
life that Jesus has the power to 
transform lives and to offer a new 
future. Pioneers for Christ are 
needed to look at the vast possibili- 
ties that confront all believers in 
this day of opportunity. Now is the 
time to prove our faith. Pioneers 
for Christ, arise! 

Can we afford to overlook the 
possibilities that five million peo- 
ple offer the church? Does our lack 
of experience with such huge num- 
bers excuse us from looking to the 
fields that are ripe unto harvest? 
It's true, the laborers are few, just 
as they were in the days of Christ. 
But can we just throw up our hands 
and tell God that we're not ready? 
Will there be any acceptable ex- 
cuses as the Holy Spirit works in 
our midst to call out workers for 
the harvest? Do we believe the 
Apostle Paul, who wrote in 2 
Corinthians 6:2, "Now is the day of 

Jesus has already issued the call 
to go into fields ready to harvest. 
Pioneers for Christ, ARISE! May 
God help us in our response to 
Christ's call. [*] 

The Brethren Evangelist 

Recruiting Workers 
For God's Harvest Field 

Then [Jesus] said to his disciples, 
"The harvest is plentiful but the 
workers are few. Ask the Lord of 
the harvest, therefore, to send out 
workers into his harvest field." 

Matthew 9:37, 38; NIV 

MANY HAVE READ this pas- 
sage and have paid attention 
only to the first verse, "The harvest 
is plentiful but the workers are few." 
They have used those words as a 
mandate for doing all the ministry 
themselves. Some think that if 
ministry is to be done properly, 
then it is "up to me." But this atti- 
tude deprives others who are called 
to serve of the opportunity to grow 
and to be obedient to the call of 

What do I mean? Simply this: 
More people are called to serve in 
ministry in our churches than are 
actually doing ministry. We just 
need to find them. They often hide 
in the strangest places and appear 
to be the least likely of persons to 
serve in such a capacity. But they 
are out there. God wants them, and 
we need them. 

A passion to wash feet 

That is what ministerial recruit- 
ment in The Brethren Church 
should be all about. If The Breth- 
ren Church is to grow spiritually 
and numerically in the next cen- 
tury, then we must have commit- 
ted people with a passion to wash 
feet. What? Yes, wash feet. We must 
have people who are willing to do 
the kind of service Jesus modeled 
when he bowed down and washed 
His disciples' feet. We need people 
with a selfless, obedient, service- 
Mr. Bargerhuff is a Brethren student 
at Ashland Theological Seminary and 
serves as Associate Pastor of the Uni- 
versity Church. 

June 1995 

By Eric Bargerhuff 

oriented lifestyle who remember that 
we have been crucified with Christ 
and therefore no longer live to our- 
selves but to Him. 

We need to model it 

The point is, we cannot ask this 
of other people during our recruit- 
ment month if we ourselves are 
not modeling it. "Monkey see, mon- 
key do" is not just a cliche. It is 
true. Two of the ways God is using 
to raise people up for service are 
our persistence in prayer and our 
lifestyle, which reflects the passion- 
ate heart of a Christian servant. 

Where is our passion to serve? 
Are others noticing an excitement 
to serve the Lord in our lives? 
These are challenges to contem- 
plate as we seek to recruit people 
for ministry. And they are the things 
that many young people — and older 
people as well — will look for as 
they seek to discover God's will for 
their lives. They are watching us, 
so we must model this desire to 
serve and make it contagious. Sim- 
ply said, "If we lead, others will 

As we observe Ministerial Re- 
cruitment Sunday this June in The 
Brethren Church,* let us be re- 
minded that every Sunday should 
be recruitment Sunday, for recruit- 
ment must happen year around. 
Making disciples and raising them 
up for service requires time and ef- 
fort on our part. It is necessary for 
us to develop and nurture lasting 

'June is Ministerial Emphasis Month in 
The Brethren Church, and each year the 
first Sunday of June (June 4th this year) is 
designated as Ministerial Recruitment Sun- 
day. June is also the month for emphasiz- 
ing the Ministerial Student Aid Fund. This 
fund, administered by a committee of the 
National Association of Brethren Church 
Elders, is used to provide financial help to 
Brethren college and seminary students 
who are preparing for full-time Christian 
service in The Brethren Church. 

and supportive relationships with 
those whom we feel may be called 
of God to serve. We must nurture 
them and show them the way. 

This is a challenge for pastors 
and lay leaders to make disciples — 
disciples who are willing to deny 
themselves, take up their cross 
daily, and follow Him. We must not 
simply recruit now and then, but 
every day, for it is a matter of eter- 
nal life and eternal death. My prayer 
is that God will find us faithful in 
being and finding laborers for His 
harvest field. [D"} 

The Congregation's Role 

For many years, Brethren congre- 
gations played an active role in call- 
ing men and women to ministry. But 
gradually over the years, congrega- 
tions have taken a secondary role, 
allowing individuals to discern God's 
call on their own. 

With the reawakening of the con- 
gregation's role in discerning gifts, a 
renewed sense of congregational re- 
sponsibility for discerning God's call- 
ing to ministry is returning. 

Our first goal should be to establish 
an effective, on-going, diligent prayer 
ministry for the specific needs of 
leadership in the local church, the 
district, the denomination, and the 
world missionary outreach. 

... In the early church (Acts 14:32) 
and throughout early Brethren history, 
there was specific fasting and prayer 
for the sole purpose of providing the 
needed leadership for the church. 

We also need to pray for those who 
have been called and who are in var- 
ious stages of preparation for minis- 
try. Men and women in preparation 
for ministry are prime targets for Sa- 
tanic attack, and we should be mili- 
tantly in prayer on their behalf. 

— from the booklet Understanding 
God's Call, developed by the Vocation- 
al Ministry Development Task Force of 
The Brethren Church. 


the Bible 

THOSE WHO SEEK to under- 
stand scripture in a systematic 
way generally propose some bibli- 
cal theme or concept that serves as 
the focal point for their theology. 
Some theologians, for example, have 
emphasized God's sovereignty, 
while others have stressed human 
responsibility. Some have started 
with an aspect of human experience 
or existence, while others have de- 
veloped their theology around the 
theme of liberation. 

All of these theological starting 
points need to be judged on the 
basis of how well they represent the 
whole of scripture, or — as one of my 
professors used to say — how well 
they string all the beads of scrip- 
ture. If important concepts in scrip- 
ture are overlooked or distorted, that 
theological view should rightly be 

Another way to approach this 
search for a unifying theme in scrip- 
ture is to see if scripture itself 
offers us one. I am convinced that 
scripture does in fact provide us with 
just such a theme. 

Intriguingly, the Brethren, and 
especially the Anabaptists, viewed 
this theme as a key for understand- 
ing God's eternal purposes. In fact, 
I was initially made aware of this 
theme by my reading in Brethren 
and Anabaptist sources. This theme 
answers probably the most basic 
question we can ask about our faith: 
What is God's ultimate purpose in 
human history? 

Dr. Stoffer is assistant professor of 
historical theology at Ashland Theologi- 
cal Seminary. He serves on The Breth- 
ren Church's Committee on Doctrine, 
Research, and Publication, which is 
preparing this series of articles. 

The People of 

By Dale R. Stoffer 

Biblical background 
of the theme 

In scripture a statement appears 
more than 50 times throughout the 
Old and New Testaments that 
directly answers this question. Its 
first appearance is in Genesis 17:7- 
8, while its last appearance is in 
Revelation 21:3. As generally stated 
it is: "I will be your God, and you 
will be my people." Sometimes the 
declaration is added: "I will dwell in 
the midst of you." This declaration 
is especially significant in the light 
of Exodus 33:12-16. The one thing 
that distinguished Israel from all 
other people was that they had the 
presence of God among them. 

I call this theme the "peoplehood 
formula." It states that God's eter- 
nal purpose, which He has been 
working out throughout human his- 
tory, is to have a people for Himself 
and for His own glory. It has been 
His purpose to have a people for 
His own possession among whom 
He will one day dwell in intimate 
communion (Rev. 21:3, 22). 

This peoplehood formula appears 
most frequently in the Pentateuch 
(the first five books of the Old Tes- 
tament) and in the Old Testament 
prophetic books. But it is also scat- 
tered throughout the New Testa- 
ment in the writings of Paul, Peter, 
and John, in the book of Hebrews, 
and on the lips of James in Acts 15. 

What is especially significant about 
this formula, or variations of it, is 
that it constantly appears whenever 
the topic of God's purposes for 
Israel and humanity are being dis- 
cussed. It appears in the context of 
the Abrahamic covenant in Genesis 
17:7-8; when God reaffirms His cov- 
enant with Israel under Moses in 
Exodus 6:7; as the foundation of the 

Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:2; 
as Israel is poised to enter the Prom- 
ised Land in Deuteronomy 7:6; at 
the institution of the monarchy in 
1 Samuel 12:22; at God's disclosure 
of the new covenant to Jeremiah in 
Jeremiah 31:33; in connection with 
the promise of the restoration of 
Israel following the Babylonian cap- 
tivity in Ezekiel 11:20; in the con- 
text of the Messianic prophesies of 
Isaiah 63:8-0 and Zechariah 8:8, 13:0; 
as a rationale for God's intention to 
receive the Gentiles into the church 
without their having to become Jews 
by circumcision in Acts 15:13-14; 
as justification for God's rejection 
of unrepentant Israel and His in- 
clusion of the Gentiles in His peo- 
ple in Romans 9:24-26; as a means 
of indicating the continuation of God's 
Old Testament people in the New 
Testament church in 1 Peter 2:9- 
10; as the final fulfillment and cli- 
max of God's redemptive plan in 
Revelation 21:3, 7. This peoplehood 
formula is the element of continu- 
ity that runs unbroken through all 
the major transitions in Israel's and 
the church's existence. 

Theological significance 
of the formula 

The concept that God desires to 
form a people for Himself has pro- 
found implications for all aspects of 
theology. I will sketch out some of 
these implications below. 

The view of God 

The peoplehood formula stresses 
not only the sovereignty of God and 
His otherworldliness in the first 
part ("I shall be your God"; see Exo- 
dus 20:2-3), but also His compas- 
sion and immanence in the second 
part ("You will be my people"; see 
1 Samuel 12:22). It likewise affirms 

The Brethren Evangelist 

"The declaration 'You will be my people' tells us that we find our 
purpose only in relationship with God. We cannot find meaning and 
purpose in anything else, for only God can satisfy our need for fel- 
lowship, love, and acceptance." 

that all history is purposeful and is 
directed toward a single goal: the 
presence of God among a people 
who have His character and who 
bring Him glory. 

The formula views God as the in- 
itiator of our relationship with Him, 
while we are always the responder 
to His grace. We are God's people 
solely because God graciously chose 
us, not because we merited His in- 
terest (see Deut. 7:6-8). What is most 
wondrous is that God has unilater- 
ally acted over and over again on 
our behalf to bring His purpose to 

Significantly, this theme tells us 
that the basis of the relationship 
between God and humanity is rela- 
tional before it is legal. God has 
chosen to be our God because He 
loves us (see Deut. 7:7-8), not be- 
cause of our ability to keep His 
commandments. But this relation- 
ship lays upon His people concrete 
demands and expectations in both 
Old and New Testaments. While we 
don't come to God on the basis of our 
works, nonetheless obedience is to 
be one of the marks of God's people 
because of our love for Him (see Deut. 
6:5-9; John 14:15, 21, 23). Our in- 
ner love relationship with God is the 
motivation for our obedience to Him. 
This view of our relationship with 
God thus affirms both divine sov- 
ereignty and human responsibility. 

View of humanity and sin 

The declaration "You will be my 
people" tells us that we find our 
purpose only in relationship with 
God. We cannot find meaning and 
purpose in anything else, for only 
God can satisfy our need for fellow- 
ship, love, and acceptance. We are 
made for fellowship with God. But 
we are also made for fellowship with 
God's people. I will return to this 
idea when I talk about the church. 

Our relationship with God, for 
which God created us, was broken 
by sin; because of the fall we all 
have become rebels to God's pur- 
pose for us. Our sin not only de- 

June 1995 

stroys fellowship with God, but it 
distorts all that we were meant to 
be by creation. It likewise introduced 
death into the human experience 
and the prospect of eternal spiri- 
tual death for those who reject God. 
Though we were meant for eternal 
fellowship with God, spiritual death 
is viewed in part as eternal depar- 
ture or separation from God (see 
Matt. 25:41, 46). 

View of Christ and salvation 

Jesus Christ is the one who re- 
verses the terrible effects of sin, in- 
troduced by Adam and experienced 
anew by every one of his descendants 
by their own sinful acts. Jesus Christ, 
the incarnate Son of God, unites 
God and humanity in His own per- 
son and reveals perfectly the life we 
are called to live as God's people. 
He alone, as the God-Man, is capa- 
ble of restoring the broken relation- 
ship between God and humanity. 
As our Representative, He suffers the 
penalty due our sins on the cross; as 
our Redeemer, He frees us from our 
slavery to sin and defeats death and 
Satan; as our Reconciler, He makes 
possible renewed fellowship with God; 
as our Restorer, He embodies the 
new humanity we are to become. 

We enter into renewed fellowship 
with God as His sons and daugh- 
ters through repentance of our sins 
and faith in Jesus Christ. We con- 
tinue to grow in the Christian faith 
through our faithfulness and obedi- 
ence to our Lord Jesus Christ. The 
goal of this growth process is Christ- 
likeness, to be renewed in His image 
(Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:13). 

Correspondence Welcomed 

The members of the General Con- 
ference Executive Council's Commit- 
tee on Doctrine, Research, and Pub- 
lication invite readers to suggest topics 
or Bible passages to discuss in future 
articles in this column. Send ques- 
tions, comments, or suggestions to 
the committee in care of The Breth- 
ren Evangelist, 524 College Ave., 
Ashland, OH 44805. 

View of the Spirit and 
the church 

One of the important promises 
Jesus Christ gave to His disciples 
was: "I will be with you always, to 
the very end of the age" (Matt. 
28:20). Though Christ is not now 
with us bodily, He is present through 
the Holy Spirit, the Comforter He 
promised to send, who would be 
with us forever (John 14:16-17). The 
promise that is part of the people- 
hood formula that God would dwell 
with us finds partial fulfillment 
already in the Holy Spirit's indwell- 
ing presence. Though one day we 
will dwell in the presence of God 
the Father and Son, the Spirit is 
now our "deposit guaranteeing our 
inheritance until the redemption of 
those who are God's possession" (Eph. 

I earlier noted that part of the 
concept of being God's people means 
that we were made for fellowship 
not only with God but also with God's 
people. God is continuing to fashion 
a people for His own glory in and 
through the church. It has been God's 
eternal purpose that, through the 
church, His will and redemptive plan 
in Christ should be made known 
(Eph. 1:22-23; 3:8-12). 

Both Jesus Christ and the Holy 
Spirit are essential to the church. 
Paul indicates that Christ is the 
Head of the church, uniting all be- 
lievers in His body (1 Cor. 12:12) 
and providing the sustenance nec- 
essary for the body's growth (Col. 
2:19). Using a different metaphor, 
Paul states that believers are "be- 
ing built together to become a dwell- 
ing in which God lives by his Spirit" 
(Eph. 2:22). Again we are reminded 
that God's promise to dwell among 
His people is now being realized 
through the Spirit's indwelling the 

The teaching of the New Testa- 
ment makes it clear that we, as 
God's new covenant people, cannot 
grow and mature without active 
(continued on page 9) 

A Defense of Believer Immersion 

as a Standard for Membership 

in The Brethren Church 


Brethren Evangelist, Dr. Dale 
Stoffer wrote in support of accept- 
ing into membership in The Breth- 
ren Church people who have re- 
ceived any form of believer baptism 
instead of our current standard of 
restricting acceptance to those who 
have been immersed as believers.* 
I believe that it would be incorrect 
for us to modify our current stand- 
ard of believer immersion. 

Dr. Stoffer deals with this topic 
from three perspectives: biblical, 
the distinction between principle 
and form, and historical. I believe 
that from each of these perspectives 
the arguments in favor of maintain- 
ing our present practice are far 
more compelling. 

Biblical considerations 

There are more than 50 biblical 
references to baptism, and in each 
case where location mattered, it 
was near a body of water. In Mat- 
thew 3:6-16 and Mark 1:4-10 we 
read of John the Baptist baptizing, 
and both passages specifically note 
that it was done in a body of water. 
The same texts report that Jesus' 
baptism included Him "coming out 
of the water," a clear indication that 
immersion was the mode used. In 
John 3:23 John the Baptist again 
baptizes at a particular location be- 
cause it had a body of water. In 
Acts 8:35-40 and Acts 22:16 we see 
the apostles following the same prac- 
tice, baptizing when there is a body 
of water available for immersion. 

The testimony of scripture is 
quite clear and consistent: baptism 

•See "Should The Brethren Church Ac- 
cept into Membership People Previously 
Baptized by Any Form of Believer Bap- 
tism?" on pages 5-7 of the April issue. 

Rev. Hurd is pastor of the Cheyenne, 
Wyoming, Brethren Church. 


By G. Emery Hurd 

is an act of burial and resurrec- 
tion, a symbol of a new life in 
Christ, and a work of each of the 
three persons of the Trinity. It is 
also equally clear that baptism 
was to portray accurately these 
truths and that the New Testa- 
ment standard for this portrayal is 

Those individuals of sincere con- 
viction who have been baptized as 
believers by other modes are not 
being told their previous baptisms 
were useless. They are merely be- 
ing told that immersion is the most 
appropriate and most biblically de- 
fensible mode. Brethren identify 
themselves as biblical people. 
Therefore those who become Breth- 
ren need to submit to as complete 
a biblical model as possible. 

I personally was sprinkled as an 
infant, then became converted as a 
teenager and was baptized by 
pouring. In my late teens, through 
personal Bible study, I became 
convinced that immersion was the 
only biblically defensible mode, and 
so I was baptized by immersion. 
And this was all before I joined The 
Brethren Church! 

Were the previous baptisms use- 
less? No, they were markers of sig- 
nificant life events for my family 
and me. They had spiritual signifi- 
cance to me. But when I am asked 
when I was baptized, I refer to the 
date I was immersed, because that 
is the act that I find to be the most 
biblically reflective of the principle 
of baptism. 

The issue of form 
and principle 

Dr. Stoffer raises another issue 
— the distinction between form and 
principle. He states: "Principles are 
the essential biblical truths that 
must be believed regardless of cul- 
ture. Forms are the outward ex- 

pression of principles which tend to 
vary from culture to culture ..." 
(emphasis added). 

I believe that this definition is 
inadequate because there are three 
divisions rather than two. While 
forms tend to vary, some forms are 
critical to the proper communica- 
tion and understanding of the 
principle and, as such, are trans- 
cultural. Principles are basic be- 
liefs that are trans-cultural. In- 
dicative forms are expressions of a 
principle that are so significant to 
the understanding of the principle 
itself that they are also trans-cul- 
tural. Cultural forms are expres- 
sions of principles that are influ- 
enced more by the culture than by 
the principle, and as such may 
vary from place to place. 

A child covered with dirt after a 
hard day's play needs to get totally 
wet and totally washed to be de- 
clared "clean." No mother would 
wash the face of a dirty child and 
declare that child — with his dirty 
clothes, mud-smeared hands, and 
dusty feet — "clean." She may use 
liquid or bar soap, a washcloth or 
a sponge, hot or warm water. But 
to a mother, the principle of clean 
has an indicative form: get the whole 
kid wet and all the dirt gone! 

I see immersion as an indicative 
form. The significance of baptism 
is complete cleansing from sin. The 
word "baptize" in the Greek original 
means to dip or plunge, to be totally 
covered with water. The biblical 
model was immersion, regardless of 
whether the believer was Jew or 
Greek, male or female, slave or free, 
(that's trans-cultural!). Baptism is 
immersion, and the immersion form 
is inexorably linked to the princi- 
ples that baptism seeks to commu- 

The early church fathers agree 
that immersion is an indicative 

The Brethren Evangelist 

"The discussion of our practice should not he based upon what others do or what 
others believe, but rather upon what we as Brethren have come to understand 
through our history and our understanding of scripture to be truth. " 

form. The Didache did recognize 
the possible need for pouring, but 
only after all possible means 
for immersion were exhausted.* 

Where in America is immersion 
impossible? Elbert White, a South- 
ern Baptist missionary in Zim- 
babwe, carries a portable baptistry 
in his Landrover in which to im- 
merse new converts. There may be 
those rare medical and environmen- 
tal situations in which pouring may 
be the only available form. But 
other modes of baptism are not jus- 
tified by personal choice or trans- 
fer of membership. 

The idea of immersion being an 
indicative form was established by 
The Brethren Church more than a 
decade ago, when we moved from 
trine immersion to believer immer- 
sion as our standard. We recognized 
that our particular practice (immer- 
sion three times forward), while 
valid and proper, was not essential 
to the principle of symbolic cleans- 
ing. But we did agree that, as Breth- 
ren understand scripture, immer- 
sion is essential to a proper com- 
munication of the principles of 
baptism. In other words, the Breth- 
ren have already decided that im- 
mersion is an indicative form. 

The historical discussion 

Throughout our history, Brethren 
have consistently baptized only by 
believer immersion. The truth that 
there are believers' churches that 
practice other modes of baptism is 
irrelevant to the discussion. There 
are believers' churches that don't 
practice feetwashing. Should we 
make that an optional practice in 
the church? There are believers' 
churches that have different prac- 
tices about ordination and the gifts 
of the Spirit. Should we modify our 
positions? The discussion of our prac- 
tice should not be based upon what 
others do or what others believe, 
but rather upon what we as Brethren 
have come to understand through 
our history and our understanding 
of scripture to be truth. 

*See the quotation from the Didache on 
page 7 of the April issue. 

The need for compassion 

I understand the deeply personal 
issues involved in asking someone 
to be rebaptized, having been re- 
baptized myself. In good faith and 
with the counsel of a particular 
church, people come to know Jesus 
Christ as Savior and then become 
baptized by some mode other than 
immersion. They come to a Breth- 
ren church, find a body of believers 
with whom they share belief and 
ministry, and seek to become 
members. We must not deny the 
validity of their faith. Nor should 
we question that at the time of 
their baptism they honestly be- 
lieved that they were being obedi- 
ent to God's word. 

But being a member of any church 
means you choose to agree with 
the faith and practice of that par- 
ticular body of believers. If you find 

The People of God 

(continued from page 7) 
involvement in the church (Eph. 
4:11-16). Though we enter Christ's 
body individually by faith in Him, 
we cannot continue to grow in 
Christian maturity unless we are 
a functioning part of His body. 

This truth directly challenges 
an unfortunate trait of American 
Christianity. We at times put so 
much stress on individual salva- 
tion that we minimize the neces- 
sity of being an active participant 
in the church. The church is not 
optional in God's redemptive plans. 
It plays the central role in God's 
present-day plan to form a peo- 
ple for Himself. 

The view of last things 

As I read the book of Revelation, 
one of the things that strikes me 
is the number of passages that 
are devoted to the worship and 
praise of God by His people. When 
time becomes eternity by God's 
consummating work, we will live 

the beliefs of that church to be sig- 
nificantly different from your own, 
you don't enter into membership. 

I have had individuals refrain 
from joining The Brethren Church 
because we wash feet at Commun- 
ion; or because we ordain women. 
It saddens me when this happens. 
But as Brethren we have a certain 
perspective, a certain biblical her- 
meneutic, and a unique history and 

Believer immersion is a form 
that is essential to the communica- 
tion of the principles of baptism. 
This has been the belief of the 
Brethren in the past. Since there 
is no compelling biblical or histor- 
ical evidence to suggest that our 
understanding has been incorrect, 
it is my conviction that The Breth- 
ren Church should maintain believer 
immersion as its standard for 
membership. [ft] 

in the very presence of God, be- 
yond the touch of death, mourn- 
ing, crying, and pain (Rev. 21:3- 
4). The joy and love experienced 
in God's presence certainly will 
provide His people with the in- 
spiration for the worship that rings 
throughout John's prophecy. 

All of this is an assured prom- 
ise to every one of us who is united 
with God and His people. Rightly 
does John end his Revelation with 
the words, "Amen. Come, Lord 
Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus 
be with God's people. Amen" (Rev. 


The peoplehood formula ac- 
quaints us with God's "big picture." 
God Himself reveals to us that 
His eternal plan is to have a peo- 
ple for His own possession. All 
that He has done from Genesis 
to Revelation is to the end that 
His people might again experience 
the blessed joy of His presence, a 
blessing God had intended for hu- 
manity from the beginning. [t] 

June 1995 

A Spiritual Awakening 
on the Ashland University Campus 

By Michael Gleason 

eral students from Wheaton 
College in Illinois who had been 
deeply moved by the genuine spir- 
itual awakening that occurred on 
their campus spoke this spring at 
Ashland University. 

The gathering took place Wednes- 
day, April 26, at HOPE Fellowship, 
where all present heard two gentle 
testimonies of the recent movement 
of the Holy Spirit, which visibly im- 
pacted approximately 25 colleges 
and seminaries* during the spring. 
The Wheaton students called our 
fellowship to earnest repentance, 
uncompromising and visible obedi- 
ence to Christ and the scriptures, 
and public confession of sin. 

When students were given an op- 
portunity to respond, I witnessed 
what I had heretofore only read 
about, as one student after another 
came to the microphone not only to 
confess sin but also to pledge a de- 
sire for whole-hearted obedience to 

The Holy Spirit was in charge 

The evening was both peaceful 
and genuine, with every appear- 
ance that only the Holy Spirit of 
God was in charge. Some students 
wept at the pulpit with a broken- 
ness of heart that I had not seen 
before in my six years of service 
here. Others ran to their dorms to 
gather friends or to reconcile bro- 
ken relationships. 

'This powerful, nationwide revival appar- 
ently began at Howard Payne University in 
Brownwood, Texas. A few of the other cam- 
puses on which spiritual awakenings have 
occurred include Southwestern Baptist Theo- 
logical Seminary in Texas; Illinois Baptist 
College, Trinity College, and Trinity Evan- 
gelical Divinity School, all in Illinois; Gor- 
don College and Eastern Nazarene College 
in Massachusetts; Asbury College in Ken- 
tucky; Taylor University in Indiana; and 
Northwestern College and Crown College in 

Dr. Gleason is Director of Religious 
Life on the Ashland University campus. 


The recommitments to faith were 
too numerous to count. Clusters of 
students could be found around the 
chapel sharing tears, reconciliation, 
support, and prayer. The public tes- 
timonies and confessions began at 
10:00 p.m. and continued without 
interruption for a full 3V2 hours. A 
witness to the genuineness of this 
movement of the Spirit was the 
fact that spontaneous meetings for 
prayer, praise, and confession of 
sin, accompanied by bold witness- 
ing, continued from April 26 until 
the end of the semester (May 11). 

A Solemn Assembly 

This gracious visitation of God to 
our campus was divinely correlated 
with a Solemn Assembly, which 
had been previously scheduled for 
the following evening, April 27. A 
Solemn Assembly is a call to the 
community of faith to engage in 
earnest individual and corporate 
confession as well as renewal of 
faith and commitment. All who de- 
sired to attend the assembly were 
challenged to prepare by fasting 
and careful self-examination. A list 
of corporate sins was also compiled 
by students officers. 

When we gathered on April 27, 

"In 25 years of teaching I've never 
seen anything like this," said John 
Woodbridge,* church historian at Trin- 
ity Evangelical Divinity School, where 
revival also broke out. Revivals have 
occurred on campuses of various sizes 
and denominations, but they are so 
similar that "it is uncanny," Woodbridge 

"My hope is that pastors all over 
the country will invite students into 
their churches to speak about recon- 
ciliation," Woodbridge went on to say. 
"One of the things that really is hold- 
ing back the evangelical church is 
lack of reconciliation between mem- 
bers. These young people are lead- 
ing the way for reconciliation." 

*Quoted in the April 17, 1995, issue of 
National & International Religion Report. 

numerous students from the pre- 
vious evening joined us for the event. 
Various biblical challenges were pre- 
sented by the staff, and a full hour 
was given for individual confession 
and repentance. 

When students returned from this 
season of self-examination, they 
brought with them armloads of 
questionable literature, CD's, and 
the like, which they mounded on a 
four- by eight-foot table until the 
entire surface was nearly covered. 
The students had responded not to 
an emotional plea, but to the con- 
victing hand of the Holy Spirit, 
which caused a genuine turning 
from all questionable behavior. The 
evening concluded with selection of 
accountability partners, confession 
of corporate sin, and pledges to 
keep the following covenant: 

We, the people of this Christian 
community, do solemnly pledge to 
earnestly strive to love the Lord 
our God with all our heart, mind, 
soul, and strength, and to love our 
neighbor as ourselves. We recog- 
nize that this pledge of love and 
obedience involves strong and 
regular spiritual disciplines, such 
as prayer, Bible study, and cor- 
porate worship. In addition, this 
pledge is a vow to uncompromising 
obedience to the Holy God and His 
sacred Scriptures. Due to the fact 
that we are a sinful people and 
easily prone to wander from our 
faith and promises, we also pledge 
to be involved with another Chris- 
tian who will hold us accountable 
to this Covenant of Promise. 

During the first week after we 
reconvene in the fall, another Sol- 
emn Assembly will be held. During 
that assembly an opportunity will 
be given for all present to recom- 
mit themselves to this Covenant of 
Promise. Please join us in praying 
that the Author of this fresh awak- 
ening might be pleased to continue 
His work of mercy, grace, convic- 
tion, and repentance throughout 
the coming academic year. [1r] 

The Brethren Evangelist 

General Conference Preview 

1995 General Conference Schedule 

Theme: "The Devoted Church . . . Grows" (Acts 2:42^7) 
August 7-1 1 at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio 

Monday, August 7 

4:00 p.m. — New Delegate Briefing 

6:30 p.m. — Opening Celebration including 

BYIC greetings and featuring ad- 
dress by Moderator Reilly Smith 
8:30 p.m. — Reception 

Tuesday, August 8 

8:30 a.m. — Devotional/Prayer Time 

9:00 a.m. — Business Session 

1:30 p.m. — Business Session 

3:00 p.m. — Auxiliary Sessions (WMS, BMOM, 

7:00 p.m. — Worship Service featuring message 

by Rev. William M. Easum 

Wednesday, August 9 

7:00 a.m. — Pastors' Wives Fellowship/Continen- 
tal Breakfast (reservtion required) 
8:30 a.m. — Devotional/Prayer Time 
9:00 a.m. — All-Conference Seminar on "Equip- 
ping the Laity for Ministry" led by 
Rev. William M. Easum 
12:00 noon — Women's Luncheon (reservation re- 
quired) featuring message by Mrs. 
Jill Briscoe 

Wednesday, August 9 (continued) 
12:00 noon — Men's Picnic (reservation required) 
followed by BMOM and NABCE 

3:00 p.m. — Workshops 

5:00 p.m. — World Relief Soup Supper featur- 
ing message by Mrs. Jill Briscoe 
(reservation required) 

7:00 p.m. — Worship Service featuring message 
by Rev. William M. Easum 

Thursday, August 10 

8:30 a.m. — Devotional/Prayer Time 

9:00 a.m. — Business Session 

1:30 p.m. — Auxiliary Sessions 

5:00 p.m. — Missionary Board Buffet (reserva- 
tion required) 

7:00 p.m. — Worship Service led by Missionary 
Board personnel 

Friday, August 11 

8:30 a.m. — Devotional/Prayer Time 

9:00 a.m. — Business Session 
10:30 a.m. — Closing Session featuring Youth 

Convention report and challenge by 
new Moderator Richard Allison 

William M. Easum to Speak 

WILLIAM M. EASUM, church growth consult- 
ant and former pastor, will present two mes- 
sages and lead a seminar at this summer's General 
Conference. During the Tuesday evening worship 
service he will speak on "The Ever-Widening Cir- 
cle," and Wednesday evening he will deal with the 
Conference theme, 'The Devoted Church . . . 
Grows." Wednesday morning he will present a sem- 
inar on "Equipping the Laity for Ministry." 

From 1969 to 1993, Rev. Easum served as senior 
pastor of Colonial Hills United Methodist Church 
in San Antonio, Texas. During his pastorate, the 
church grew from a congregation of 35 in worship 
that was facing bankruptcy to a worship attend- 
ance of 1,000 with an annual budget of $1,100,000. 
More than half of the church's new members came 
from the ranks of unchurched young adults, and 
nearly half of the congregation were single adults. 
The congregation also had one of the strongest so- 
cial justice ministries in America as well as a com- 
prehensive ministry of the laity. 

Rev. Easum now serves as executive director of 
21st Century Strategies, Inc., a non-profit organi- 
zation devoted to re-tooling pastors, churches, and 
denominational leaders for ministry in a new world. 

His ministry is devoted to consulting with churches 
and denominational leaders, training the leaders of 
tomorrow, and writing practical books and materi- 
als on ministry in the 
1990s and beyond. 
His several books in- 
clude Church Growth 
Handbook, Ho w to 
Reach Baby Boomers, 
Dancing With Dino- 
saurs, and The Sacred 
Cow Makes Gourmet 

A 1961 graduate of 
Baylor University 
(B.A.), he also has de- 
grees from Southwest- 
ern Baptist Theologi- 
cal Seminary (M.Div.) 
and Perkins School of 
Theology (S.T.M.). Before becoming pastor of the 
Colonial Hills Church, he first served the Highland 
Terrace UMC in San Antonio Tex., as an associate; 
then pastored the San Juan UMC in San Juan, Tex. 
He is married, and he and his wife, Jan, have 
one daughter, Caran. His hobbies are fishing and 
flying. [t] 

June 1995 


General Conference Preview 

1995 National BYIC Convention 

Theme: "Keeping It Simple" (1 Cor. 2:1-5) 
August 7-1 1 at Ashland University 

AMISSIONS BANQUET, a concert by the con- 
temporary Christian vocal group AVB, Youth 
Communion, and special evening worship services 
will be highlights of this year's BYIC Convention. 

The Missions Banquet on Tuesday evening will 
feature as speakers Todd and Tracy Ruggles, Breth- 
ren missionaries to Mexico City. Rev. Tom Schiefer, 
pastor of the Smoky Row (Worthington, Ohio) Breth- 
ren Church will lead the Wednesday evening Com- 
munion service. 

Speaker for the Tuesday evening worship service 
will be former pro-football player Rev. Rickey Bolden, 
now Brethren pastor of the Southeast Christian Fel- 
lowship in Washington, D.C. Rev. Jim Koontz, pas- 
tor of the Louisville, Ohio, First Brethren Church, 
will speak at the Wednesday evening service. And 
the Thursday evening speaker will be Don Belster- 
ling, the new youth pastor at Ashland's Park Street 
Brethren Church. 

Other events on the BYIC Convention schedule 
include a concert of prayer, an informational ses- 

sion, tubing down the Mohican River, workshops, 
the annual Coffeehouse, as well as daily Morning 
Praise and Share and Prayer groups. The youth 
will join the adults for worship on Monday evening 
and for the closing worship service on Friday morn- 
ing. Except for these sessions, the BYIC Conven- 
tion will be independent of the adult Conference. 

All youth attending the BYIC Convention must 
pre-register (no walk-ins accepted at the Conven- 
tion). Registration information was mailed to advisors 
and pastors in mid-May. The last date to register 
is July 15, and a discount is available to those whose 
registrations are postmarked before July 1. Addi- 
tional discounts are available if youth are National 
BYIC members or have memorized 1 Corinthians 2. 

All youth at the Convention must stay on campus, 
and attendance is mandatory at all Convention events. 
The registration fee includes four nights of housing 
(Monday through Thursday); therefore, any youth 
or adult sponsors who will arrive on Sunday must 
register with adult housing for Sunday night. [ft] 

Conference Registration Information 

Every person planning to attend Conference must 
complete a registration form (next page) — even if you 
live in Ashland or are not planning to stay on campus. 

General instructions: 

1. Room rates include sheets and towels. Bring your 
own pillow, washcloths, and extra towels if desired. 

2. We must pay for every bed used, but children ac- 
companying parents may sleep on the floor in their par- 
ents' room at no charge. No linen will be provided. Bring 
a pad or sleeping bag. Single rooms have floor space for 
only one child, doubles for two, triples for three. Register 
early to assure getting your desired accommodations. A 
limited number of triple rooms are available. 

3. Tickets for meals served in the university cafeteria 
Tuesday through Friday are usable any day. Since no 
refunds are given, order only as many tickets as you 
will need for the week. Meal tickets may also be pur- 
chased at the door. The price is the same. 

4. The Women's Luncheon, Men's Picnic, and Mission- 

Children's Program 

Because of the success of last year's Kids' Konference, 
this year the program will be open to pre-school children 
— ages two (must be potty-trained) to four. This program 
will give children too old for the nursery an opportunity 
to expand their minds through Christian activity — Bible 
stories, singing, finger plays, art activities, etc. 

Parents will be welcome to come and go as they please 
and may stay and interact with the children as needed. 
Any parent interested in volunteering to help with the 
program may contact Aly Pflugfelder at 419-281-0163 or 
indicate this interest on the child's registration form. 

ary Board Buffet will be held at the new Family Life 
Center of Park Street Brethren Church. 

5. In addition to the children's program listed on the 
registration form, baby-sitting for infants through pre- 
schoolers will be available in the Kem Hall preschool 
rooms during morning and evening sessions. Activities 
are also planned for children 4 years old through 6th 
grade on Thursday during the Missionary Board Buffet 
(approximately 4:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.). Children must 
eat before going to the Thursday evening activities. 

Other Information 

Housing — The housing desk will be open Sunday 
evening from 6:00 until 9:00 p.m.; Monday from 10:00 
a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and after the evening program; and 
at other times listed in the program book. The housing 
desk will be located in the Convocation Center lobby. 

Camping — Available at Ashland County Fairgrounds, 
2042 Claremont Ave., Ashland; $10.00 per night; pay on 
arrival. No advance reservation is required. 

Credentials — General Conference delegate creden- 
tials should be submitted in person at the earliest possi- 
ble time. Credentials will be received in the Convocation 
Center lobby Monday 2:00-6:00 p.m. and following the 
evening program; Tuesday through Friday, 8:00-8:30 
a.m.; Tuesday, 1:00-1:30 p.m.; and Tuesday through 
Thursday, 6:30-7:00 p.m. 

Non-Delegate Guests — Non-delegates are welcome 
to attend Conference. Please complete a reservation 
form. Non-delegates are asked to check in at the creden- 
tial table and pay a fee of $10.00. Each guest is then 
entitled to a guest name badge and a Conference packet. 

Pastors — Please feel free to copy this information 
and the registration form as a way to encourage a large 
delegation from your church. 


The Brethren Evangelist 

See instructions on previous page. 


'The Devoted Church 


1995 General Conference 

Registration Form 

Monday, August 7, through 
Friday, August 1 1 




Please reserve only one room per form. YOUTH are to 
register through the National BYIC if staying in YOUTH 
DORM. If staying with adults, use this form. NOTE: Reg- 
istration with prepayment by July 21 results in guaranteed 


Rates** Prepaid by 
July 21 


Housing costs calculation 

Ashland University Dormitory 

Single $17.00 


No. nights x rate/night 

Floor: Women's restroom Men's 

Double 24.50 


Room type: Single Double 

Triple 35.00 
"no charge for children not sleeping 

in a bed 

x - $ 

Nights staying: S M T W 
Other preferences: 


CAMPING: Ashland Fairgrounds 

No key deposit required, but there will be a $25 charge for any key lost. 

showers. $10.00 per night. Pay on arrival. 

Meal Tickets 

Summary Totals 

Meals served in University cafeteria; tickets usable any day; order as many as you 

Total Housing 

need for the week. 

Enclosed = $ 

No. tickets 

Breakfast Adults 


$3.80 = $ 

Total Meals and Ban- 

Children under 12 


$1.90 - 

quets Enclosed = $ 

Lunch Adults 

$5.00 - $ 

Total Children's Pro- 

Children under 12 


$2.50 - 

gram Enclosed - $ 

Dinner Adults 


$6.25 - $ 

Children under 12 


$3.10 - 

Total Enclosed ■ $ 

Banquet Reservations 

Make checks payable to 

Reservations for following events are a must due to early deadlines. Tickets 

General Conference Housing 

ordered after July 21 subject to availability. No meal refunds after August 1. 

Send to: 

Wed. 7:00 a.m. — Pastors' Wives Continental 


$3.00 - 

General Conference Housing 


524 College Avenue 

Wed. noon — Women's Luncheon Adults 





$5.50 - 

Ashland, OH 44805 

Children under 6 

$2.75 = 


Reg. # 
Date rec. 
Amount rec. 
Check # 

Children under 3 

$5.50 = 

Wed. noon — Men's Picnic 

Wed. 5:00 p.m. — World Relief Soup Luncheon 

ffering will be taken) 
$8.50 - 

Thurs. eve. — Missionary Board Buffet 

Total Meals and Banquets 

losed - $ 

CHILDREN'S PROGRAM and PRESCHOOL LEARNING CENTER (ages 2 years through completed 6th grade): 
Tuesday through Thursday, 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Fri., 8:15 a.m. to noon. 
Lunch provided Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. 

Family Rates Week Day Week Day 

1 child $46.00 $15.00; 2 or more children $70.00 $24.00 

Child ' S Name A9e/ c; a m d pleted 

Days (circle) 

T W Th F 


T W Th F 


T W Th F 


Total for Children's Program $_ 

Mail this form as soon as possible with payment in full (but no later than July 21). 

Send to: General Conference Housing, 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805 




Brethren Pastors' Retreat Focuses on 
Self-Care Issues for Pastoral Families 

Walnut Creek, Ohio — This tiny vil- 
lage perched on a hill in the heart of 
Ohio's Amish Country was the site 
April 25-27 of the 1995 Brethren Pas- 
tors' Retreat. 

The pastors, other elders, and wives 
who attended the gathering (approxi- 
mately 80 in all) stayed in the elegant, 
Victorian-style Carlisle Village Inn — 
where sessions of the retreat were also 
held. The inn is located next to the Der 
Dutchman Amish-style restaurant, 
which catered the sumptuous evening 
meals of the retreat. 

The retreat began late Tuesday after- 
noon with a welcoming session led by 
Jeff Whiteside, who also chaired other 
retreat sessions. Whiteside is president 
of the Ohio District Ministerial Associa- 
tion, which planned the retreat. 

A worship service led by Rev. Tom 
Schiefer followed the evening meal. This 
was a time of worship through singing 
of hymns and praise choruses (accompa- 
nied by Richard Rader), with times of 
scripture reading and prayer inter- 
spersed throughout the service. 

On Wednesday morning and evening, 
Rev. Brian Moore, pastor of the St. James, 
Md., Brethren Church, gave presenta- 
tions on self-care issues for the pastoral 
family. Drawing on material he devel- 
oped for his recently -completed final doc- 
ument (Tie Restores My Soul: The Re- 
covery of Pastoral Health in Mid-Career") 
for a Doctor of Ministries degree, Rev. 
Moore spoke in the morning on why 
self-care is necessary and gave a biblical 
and theological basis for self-care. 

Self-care is necessary, he said, be- 

cause the Christian minister has been 
taught to deny self, to forsake self. But 
in being self-sacrificing, some pastors 
have lost their humanness. Quoting St. 

Self-care is also necessary because of 
the unrealistic expectations put on pas- 
tors and their families. These expecta- 
tions are both internal (what the pastor 
expects of himself) and external (what 
the congregation expects of the pastor). 
The latter can be both real (what the 
congregation actually expects) and 
imagined (what the pastor thinks they 

The Carlisle Village Inn, located in the heart of Ohio's Amish country, proved to 
be an excellent facility for this year's Pastors' Retreat. 

Paul, he acknowledged that the Chris- 
tian minister is an earthen vessel hold- 
ing a heavenly treasure. But he asked, 
"What good does it do for the vessel to 
be broken?" 

Moore maintained that pastoral fami- 
lies need to take care of themselves be- 
cause of the demands of the ministry. "I 
don't suppose there is an occupation 
anywhere that is quite as demanding of 
the total self as ministry is," he said. The 
pastorate makes physical, intellectual, 
social, emotional, and (especially) spiri- 
tual demands on the individual. Pastors 
need self-care "because it takes our en- 
tire being to minister well." 

Jeff Whiteside begins one of the sessions of Pastors' Retreat. 


expect). The pastor cannot be indiffer- 
ent to the expectations of his congrega- 
tion, for if he is, he will be looking for a 
"greener pasture." On the other hand, 
he must not be bound by those demands, 
for then he fails to act intentionally. 

In discussing the biblical and theo- 
logical basis for self-care, Rev. Moore 
looked at implications from creation 
(wholeness, food, rest, meaningful ac- 
tivity, etc.), the example of the Apostles 
in Acts 6 (prioritizing and setting 
boundaries), the example of Jesus (soli- 
tude, rest, food), and various passages 
from Paul's writings. 

Rev. Moore concluded his first session 
by administering self-analysis surveys 
to retreat participants, which enabled 
them to evaluate the stresses they are 
experiencing and the effects these 
stresses are having on their ministries. 

In the Wednesday evening session, 
Rev. Moore first reviewed the results of 
the surveys completed during the morn- 
ing session, then looked at what pastors 
can do to maintain self-care. Using the 
analogy of an ambulance that needs to 
be filled with gas and properly main- 
tained in order to perform its function 
of carrying people to the hospital, he 
asked, "How shall we take care of the 

First, pastors must take control of 

their own lives. "Unless I can make my 

own decisions, I am doomed to fail in 

(continued on next page) 

The Brethren Evangelist 


GCEC Discusses Organizational Proposal; 
Cares for Other Current Business Items 

Ashland, Ohio — An organizational 
proposal prepared by the National 
Leadership Council* was a major item 
of discussion at the General Conference 
Executive Council (GCEC) meeting 
held Friday, May 19. 

The proposal — which recommended 
two parallel boards to oversee denomi- 
national ministries (a Missionary Board 
to oversee world and home missions and 
world relief; and a Board of Church Min- 
istries to oversee pastoral ministries, 
evangelism and church growth, youth 
ministry, leadership development, and 
spiritual formation) — did not prove to 
be acceptable to the council. The pro- 
posal also recommended creating the 

*The six members of the National Leader- 
ship Council are the General Conference mod- 
erator, moderator-elect, and past moderator; 
the Executive Director and president of the 
Missionary Board; and the Director of Breth- 
ren Church Ministries. 

Pastors' Retreat 

(continued from previous page) 
this effort of self-care," he said. And he 
quoted Tobias Brocher as saying, "Peo- 
ple who are suffering most from stress 
are those who feel they can't determine 
their lives." 

Secondly, pastors must build on re- 
sources already present in their lives. 
Those include one's own faith develop- 
ment (including our Brethren spiritual 
roots of inner piety and spiritual vital- 
ity), one's marriage, and one's own in- 
terests (pastors need a hobby). 

And finally, pastors must fight the 
tempting urge to be a messiah. The 
work of the church is the ministry of all 
the people, not just the pastor. 

Following Rev. Moore's morning pres- 
entation, directors of the Brethren Re- 
tirement Board sponsored a session in 
which changes in the Brethren Church 
Pension Plan from a trustee-directed to 
a participant-directed plan were ex- 
plained. Wednesday afternoon was free 
time, during which many of the retreat 
participants spent the sunny, warm af- 
ternoon visiting some of the many tour- 
ist attractions in the area. 

The retreat concluded on Thursday 
morning with a service that included a 
time of worship through singing led by 
Rev. Fred Brandon and accompanied by 
Rich Rader; a message about standing 
against the wiles of the devil by Rev. 
Charles Lowmaster; and a mini-concert 
by April Lowmaster. 

— reported by Dick Winfield 

June 1995 

new position of executive director as 
chief executive officer of The Brethren 
Church; called for establishment of an 
executive committee to manage the 
business and legal affairs of General 
Conference and The Brethren Church; 
and recommended setting up an office 
of administration to provide support 

When it became evident that this pro- 
posal was not supported by members of 
GCEC, six members of the council were 
appointed to seek a meeting with the 
executive committee of the Missionary 
Board in which to develop a different 
proposal. Members of GCEC also ex- 
pressed an interest in a single-board 
organizational structure. 
Other items of note from the meeting: 
• Two part-time additions to the Na- 
tional Office staff were announced by 
Rev. Ron Waters, director of Brethren 
Church Ministries. Jennifer Thomas 
will serve as a summer staff member 
to assist with planning and imple- 
menting the National BYIC Conven- 
tion; and Linda Barr, working "very 
part-time" as an independent contrac- 

tor, will coordinate some aspects of 
the national youth ministry. 

• Saint Mary's College in South Bend, 
Ind., was tentatively approved as the 
location that GCEC will recommend 
to General Conference for the 1997 
Conference, pending results of a visit 
to the campus by Ron Waters and 
Gene Eckerley. 

• A three -percent increase in the fig- 
ures on the current Pastor's Salary/ 
Benefits Package was approved as 
the scale for 1996. 

• The same Fair Share support figures 
used in 1995 were approved for 1996. 

• A committee was formed to study the 
problem of pastoral-congregational con- 
flict in The Brethren Church and to 
develop specific recommendations in 
three general areas: creating an atmos- 
phere of conciliation in our churches; 
defining the leadership roles of pastor 
and deacon in local congregations; and 
implementing polity that will foster 
reconciliation in congregations facing 
conflict. Rev. David Cooksey, Director 
of Pastoral Ministries for The Breth- 
ren Church, and Rev. Gene Eckerley, 
Indiana District Elder, were named 
to co-chair the committee. They are to 
select several pastors and lay people 
to serve with them. 

— reported by Dick Winfield 

Membership in Andrew Center 
Now Free to Brethren Churches 

Ashland, Ohio — Brethren churches 
can now become members of The An- 
drew Center at absolutely no cost to the 

The Andrew Center is a service or- 
ganization dedicated to supporting the 
ministry of local churches. The mission 
of the center is to multiply the number 
of persons turning to Jesus Christ by 
multiplying the number of leaders and 
congregations spiritually alive and 
evangelistically effective. 

Benefits of congregational member- 
ship in the Andrew Center include: 

• A toll-free action line to any of three 
congregational advisors to discuss evan- 
gelism, church growth, or Passing On 
the Promise matters. 

• Free subscriptions for the pastor and 
up to 12 additional persons to New 
Beginnings, the quarterly journal of 
The Andrew Center, and to Up to the 
Minute, a newsletter with informa- 
tion on Andrew Center research pro- 

• Registration discounts at Andrew Cen- 
ter training and networking events. 

• Discounts on selected Andrew Center 

• Opportunity for telephone consult- 
ation by the pastor with Steve Clapp, 
the senior consultant for The Andrew 

• Special invitations to networking 

The Brethren Church became a de- 
nominational member of The Andrew 
Center on March 1. The offer of free 
membership for Brethren congrega- 
tions is in exchange for an annual grant 
scholarship to the center from The 
Brethren Church. Congregational 
membership in the Andrew Center nor- 
mally runs from $150 to $600, depend- 
ing on the size of the congregation. 

Even though membership is free, 
each Brethren congregation must acti- 
vate its own membership. Details for 
doing so have been sent to each church. 

The U.S. -U.N. military operation in 
Somalia cost the United States about $2 
billion, five times more than its total 
development expenditures in Somalia 
for the previous 30 years. 

In Rwanda, Americans spent $183 
million on emergency aid, according to 
the U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda, David 
P. Rawson. Only $19 million was budg- 
eted and even less than that spent on 
development assistance. 

— Source: World Relief WORLD BRIEFS 







Rev. Daniel Rosales, pastor of the 
Sarasota, Fla., Iglesia Hispana de los 
Hermanos, spent the first two weeks in 
May in an evangelistic outreach in Co- 
lombia, South America. He held revival 
services in Brethren churches in Bogota 
and Medellin. In Medellin, even though 
it rained every night during the serv- 
ices, the church was packed with people 
hungry for the word of God. A total of 91 
people came forward in the services, 
with approximately 35 of those coming 
to receive Jesus for the first time and 
the rest to renew their commitment to 
the Lord. In Medellin Rev. Rosales also 
spoke at an interdenominational meet- 
ing attended by approximately 80 pas- 
tors and lay leaders. At the end of the 
service, nine pastors came forward to 
renew their vows of service to the Lord. 

Logans to Spend Two Years 
Teaching in Djibouti, Africa 

Bridgewater, Va. — Mark and Chan- 
tal Logan have announced plans to 
spend two years in Djibouti in northeast 
Africa teaching in the public schools as 
Missionary Associates with Eastern 
Mennonite Mission. 

This will be a return to foreign mis- 
sionary service for the Logans, who 
served as Brethren missionaries in Ar- 
gentina (1970-73) and Colombia (1976- 
89). Rev. Logan has also been a Home 
Mission pastor, serving the 340 Breth- 
ren Church near Elkton, Virginia, for 
the past one and one-half years. 

Djibouti is a French-speaking coun- 
try, and Islam is the predominant relig- 
ion. French is Chantal's native tongue, 
and Mark is also fluent in the language. 
They will be studying Islam at the Sum- 
mer Institute of Islam in Philadelphia 
this summer. They plan to depart for 
Djibouti toward the end of August. 

Even though they will be serving with 
Eastern Mennonite Mission in Djibouti, 
Rev. Logan stated that they are not 
leaving The Brethren Church. Rather 
they see this is a means of becoming 
more involved as Brethren in worldwide 


The Smoky Row Brethren Church 

in Worthington (a suburb of Columbus), 
Ohio, is exploring the possibility of 
building an addition to its church build- 
ing. At a congregational meeting held 
March 19, members approved a recom- 
mendation to form a building committee 
and hire an architect. This will be the 
second addition to the original building, 
which was completed in 1983. The Smoky 
Row Church was begun as a home mis- 
sion congregation in 1980. Its current 
membership is approximately 85 and 
worship attendance in 1994 averaged 
125. Rev. Tom Schiefer pastors the con- 
gregation, and Jeff Whiteside is the as- 
sociate pastor. 

This year marks the 75th Anniver- 
sary of the Indiana District's Brethren 
Retreat at Shipshewana, Ind. The Re- 
treat Ministry also has a new director 
this year, Richard W. Miller from the 
Wabash, Ind., First Brethren Church. 

On the light side, a letter was received 
at the National Office in May ad- 
dressed to Brethren Publishing Co., 
George E. Baer, Business] Mgr. George 
E. Baer has not been business manager 
since his death in 1948! The letter was 
from Destiny Publishers. 

If you are a computer buff and also 
serious about your Christian faith, you 
might be interested in a magazine that 
speaks to both — Christian Computing® 
Magazine. Published by Christian Com- 
puting, Inc., this magazine contains ar- 
ticles of interest to people who want to 
use computers to enhance their Chris- 
tian lives and ministries, plus informa- 
tion about computer software useful for 
personal Bible study, preparing Sunday 
school lessons or sermons, managing a 
church budget, etc. For subscription in- 
formation or to receive a sample copy, 
call 1-800-456-1868. 

Ten Brethren Receive Degrees 
May 13th at Ashland University 

Ashland, Ohio — Ten Brethren stu- 
dents were among the 731 graduates 
who received bachelor degrees May 13 
at Ashland University's 177th com- 
mencement ceremony. 

The ten Brethren students who re- 
ceived degrees were: 

Janet Aguiar, member of the Ashland 
Park Street Brethren Church; B.A. with 
a major in religion. 

Sarah Hollewell Black, member of 
the Lanark, 111., First Brethren Church; 
B.S. with a major in mathematics 
(sum ma cum laude). 

Troy Cummins, member of the Bryan, 
Ohio, First Brethren Church; B.S. in 
Education with a major in elementary 
education (magna cum laude). 

Joseph Dilgard, member of Park Street 
Brethren Church; B.A. with a major in 

accounting/business administration. 

April Given, attends Park Street Breth- 
ren Church; B.S. in Education with a 
major in education of the handicapped. 

Kimberly Kristin Hubble, attends 
University Church and former member 
of the Tucson, Ariz., First Brethren 
Church; B.S. with majors in criminal 
justice and religion. 

Karen Robins, member of the Tucson, 
Ariz., First Brethren Church; B.A. with 
a major in religion. 

Kristi Lee Paull, member of the 
Smith ville, Ohio, Brethren Church; B.S. 
in Education with majors in kindergar- 
ten-primary education and history 
(magna cum laude). 

Stephen Berry, member of Park Street 
Brethren Church; Bachelor of Music 
with a major in music education. 

Nathan Williams, member of the 
Roanoke, Ind., First Brethren Church; 
B.A. with a major in sociology (cum 

In Memory 

Thelma Lee, 81, May 14. Member for 25 years 
of the Pleasant View Brethren Church, where she 
was active in W.M.S. and Sunday school. Serv- 
ices by Pastor R. Keith Hensley. 
Dorothy Miller, 74, May 4. Faithful friend of the 
Roanoke First Brethren Church. Services by Pas- 
tor Ron Burns. 

Ora P. Greer, 87, April 28. Member of the 
Corinth Brethren Church. Services by Pastor Rod 

Mattie Criss, 75, April 24. Friend of the Pleasant 
View Brethren Church. Services by Pastor R. 
Keith Hensley. 

Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Pennock, 80, April 19. 
Member for a total of 70 years at the Gatewood 
Brethren Church and the Oak Hill First Brethren 
Church, where she also served as a Sunday 

school teacher. Services by Pastor William Skel- 
don and Rev. Milton Robinson. 
George Welch, 72, December 7. Member for 61 
Years of the North Manchester First Brethren 
Church. Services by Rev. Mitchell Funkhouser, 
pastor of the Warsaw First Brethren Church. 


Amber and Kenneth Hagerich, 55th, June 17. 
Members of the Vinco Brethren Church. 
Walter and Margaret (Peg) Eldridge, 60th, 
March 30. Members of the Goshen First Brethren 
Church. The Eldridges renewed their wedding 
vows during the service on April 2 at the Goshen 
First Brethren Church. 

Membership Growth 

Oakville: 6 by baptism 
New Lebanon: 4 by baptism 

The Brethren Evangelist 

Little Crusader 

Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder 
them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:14). 

Hi boys and girls! 

Are you enjoying being out of school? June is such a fun month in which to play 
outside and to go swimming! It's also a great time to play T-ball or baseball. Another 
activity my son looks forward to in June is church camp. And this is also a month in which 
to remember a very important date — Father's Day. 

Do you plan to do something special with your dad on Father's Day? Are you going 
to serve him breakfast in bed? Do you plan to make him a nice card? Are you going to 
tell him that he's the greatest dad in the world and that you love him? 

The Bible tells us many times that we are to honor or respect our fathers. Proverbs 
23:22 says to listen to your father, who gave you life. One of the Ten Commandments 
says to honor your father and your mother. Proverbs 13:1 says that a wise son will listen 
to his father's instructions. 

What if you don't have a father? You may not have an earthly father, but everyone 
has a Heavenly Father. God, our Father, is very pleased when we show Him how much 
we love Him. 

What are you going to do for your father on Father's Day this year? I hope you will 
tell your father how important he is to you. And don't forget to tell God how important He 
is to you as well. 

Unscramble the following words: 

1. EYBO 


3. VEOL 





7. Find one place in the Bible 
were it says to honor your father 
and mother, then write the refer- 
ence (the name of the book and 
the chapter and verse numbers) 
on the line. (Your mom or dad 
may need to help you.) 

June 1995 


News-Notes From Around the World 


Editor's note: Sometimes we lose 
sight of the fact that the progress of the 
church encompasses much more than 
what is happening in our own congrega- 
tion or in our denomination or even in 
the church in America. This is particu- 
larly true if things don't seem to be going 
well in our congregation or in our de- 
nomination or in the church in America. 
In such cases we sometimes unthink- 
ingly conclude that the church every- 
where is on the skids. 

But God's work is much greater than 
the small part in which we are directly 
involved. And despite setbacks in some 
areas, the church is making great strides 
in many other places around the world. 
Following are several reports of just this 
kind of progress. And they come from the 
most unlikely of places. May we be en- 
couraged by these reports of what God is 
doing in our world. 

Cambodian Bible School Opens 
in Khmer Rouge Territory 

Phnom Penh Bible School in Cambodia 
recently opened an extension campus in 
the middle of Khmer Rouge rebel-held 

According to Setan Lee, founder and 
director of the Phnom Penh Bible School 
(PPBS), the new school (Battambang 
Bible School) will offer a one-year train- 
ing course to current pastors who lack 
adequate education. 

Chhit Paul, pastor of a house church 
in Battambang, is the school's director. 
Teachers were chosen from the first 
graduating class of PPBS. Systematic 
teaching is offered for two weeks a 
month, eight months a year. 

Paul has planted 16 house churches 
in surrounding villages. Pastors of these 
churches, new Christians themselves, 
began coming by bicycle two days a 
week to learn from Paul. Battambang 
Bible School is an outgrowth of those 
informal sessions. 

The people of Battambang live in con- 
stant fear of rocket attacks, land mines, 
rape, robbery, and torture. Skirmishes 
flare up between rebel and government 
forces. But a powerful revival is also 
sweeping the Battambang area. When 
Christians face Khmer Rouge gunfire, 
they have no place to run, so they kneel 
and pray for protection. And the bullets 
miss them! Villagers praying to their 
spirits receive no such deliverance. 

"When they see that," Setan Lee said, 
"nothing can stop them from becoming 
believers. It happens all the time." Ac- 

cording to Lee, Battambang is strategi- 
cally located to reach all the northwest 
areas of Cambodia. 

Ex-Communist Superstation 
Now Airs the Gospel 

Due in part to an earthquake, the 
most powerful radio station in the world 
— built by the Communists to spread 
their propaganda — now proclaims the 
gospel to nations in Eastern Europe, 
Asia, and Africa. 

The earthquake occurred in Armenia 
in 1988. Following the earthquake, 
Jacob Jambazian, an ethnic Armenian, 
brought from Germany truckloads of 
food, blankets, clothing, medicines, and 
care packages supplied by Christians in 
America and Europe, which he distrib- 
uted to suffering Armenians. Tucked into 
each truckload were 20,000 to 40,000 
Armenian New Testaments, with a to- 
tal of 200,000 New Testaments entering 
the country this way. 

One of the New Testaments landed on 
the desk of the minister of media, who 
was in charge of all radio, television, 
and newspaper coverage in the country. 
Jambazian visited this man, and when 
he did so, the New Testament provided 
a link between the two. 

Jambazian told the minister that he 
was interested in building a radio sta- 
tion for the purpose of broadcasting gos- 
pel messages to Armenians. In the 
course of the conversation that followed, 
the media minister offered Jambazian 
an opportunity to preach the gospel on 
"our radio station." 

When Jambazian asked what radio 
station, the minister proceeded to tell 
him about a bank of radio transmitters 
that the Soviets had built during the 
heyday of the cold war. The Ural and 
Caucasus mountains blocked the signal 
of Radio Moscow from reaching China 
and the Islamic world. So the Commu- 
nists built a bank of radio transmitters 
and located them on the mountains of 
Ararat in Armenia. Two 1 -million- watt 
medium- wave transmitters, three 1 -mil- 
lion-watt short-wave transmitters, and 
five 100,000-watt short-wave transmit- 
ters were connected to more than 50 
towers — a total of 5.5 million watts of 
transmitting power. By contrast, the most 
powerful "clear-channel" station in the 
United States is limited to 50,000 watts. 

The Communists used all this power 
to spread their propaganda. But with 
the breakup of the Soviet Union, Radio 
Moscow cut back its air time. The super- 

station in Armenia's back yard now has 
lots of time available. 

Jambazian broadcasts a daily 30- 
minute program for Armenians over the 
superstation, which has the power to 
reach Armenians throughout most of 
the world. News and cultural presenta- 
tions make up the first 15 minutes of his 
program, and a Good News message 
fills out the rest. 

The station is also willing to sell time 
to other Christian groups desiring to 
broadcast the gospel to any people 
group within its reach. 

Three-Self Church Leaders 
Help Chinese House Churches 

In China, many new leaders of the 
government-regulated Three-Self Church 
are using their positions of authority to 
help house churches in their areas. 

Freddie Sun, China Division director 
for Christian Aid Mission, recently re- 
turned from visiting churches through- 
out China. He reports that as the older 
generation of hard-line Communists 
dies out in China, young, more evangeli- 
cal seminary graduates are replacing 
the old Three-Self Church leaders. The 
old pastors often parroted Communist 
propaganda rather than the gospel. 
New church leaders refuse to compro- 
mise their beliefs. 

"They have the power to start Bible 
schools and erect local church buildings, 
and they are using it. Now in some parts 
of China, there is little difference be- 
tween the Three-Self Church and the 
house churches," Sun said. 

Croatian Evangelicals Plant 
Churches Among Bosnians 

A missionary couple sent out from a 
fellowship of evangelical Christians in 
Croatia is making an impact on war- 
battered Bosnia. The couple, Karmelo 
and Ivon Kresonja, has been instrumen- 
tal in planting three churches in the 
past two years. 

The Kresonjas linked up with another 
Croatian missionary, Spoljaric Nikola, 
who had begun working in the city of 
Mostar several months earlier. With 
help from the Kresonjas, a congregation 
Nikola began has grown to about 200 
members. Approximately 40 percent of 
the congregation is Muslim in back- 
ground, about 40 percent are Croats 
(Roman Catholic background), and 20 
percent are Serbs (Orthodox). 

Together Nikola and the Kresonjas 


The Brethren Evangelist 

have been responsible for planting a 
church in Tuzla, about 80 miles north of 
Sarajevo. The fledgling church numbers 
about 20, mostly from Muslim back- 
ground. In addition, couples from the 
Mostar church have been responsible 
for starting two other churches. And a 
church-planting team has left Mostar 
for Sarajevo. 

3,000 Believers Gather in 
"Nation with no Christian Witness" 

Christianity is alive and spreading in 
Uzbekistan, an ex-Soviet country in 
which Westerns thought there was no 
Christian witness. 

Slavik Radchuk, a Christian Aid field 
representative, recently visited a church 
of 3,000 believers in Tashkent, the capi- 
tal of Uzbekistan. The enthusiasm of 
the members of this church is so great 
that in addition to Sunday services, 700 
to 800 worshipers gather for prayer every 
morning of the week. Moreover, aggres- 
sive evangelistic outreach has resulted 
in the planting of 33 new churches in the 
country in the last three years. 

The pro-Muslim government has 
sought to put a lid on evangelistic activ- 
ity. A new law passed a year ago prohib- 
its evangelicals from using the media or 
evangelizing in public. Despite these re- 
strictions and some overt persecution, 
80 to 100 new believers are baptized 
every month in Tashkent, largely as a 
result of personal evangelism. Chris- 

tians invite their friends and neighbors 
to their houses for tea and talk about 
Jesus. House gatherings of 20 to 40 are 
common, and some house groups are as 
large as 100. 

When authorities expressed suspi- 
cions of the church's large meetings, the 
leader pointed to the church's success in 
dealing with drug use among young peo- 
ple — a serious problem in Uzbekistan. 
So government ministers allowed the 
church to continue meeting. 

Cuban Churches 
Experience Revival 

Cuban churches are spiritually 
strong and in the midst of revival, ac- 
cording to Axel Lanausse, founder and 
director of Asociacion Misionera Inter- 
nacional (AMI). 

A team from AIM visited Cuban 
churches late last year and found that 
even though Cuban authorities do not 
permit the construction of new church 
buildings, the house-church movement 
is growing without interference. Some 
house gatherings number 50 or more 
people. One Pentecostal church of 600 
members in Havana acts as a coordina- 
tor for more than 100 house churches. 

One pastor who serves in an area 
about two hours from Havana has be- 
gun his own training school. He recently 
took ten Cuban pastors to Venezuela for 
a training conference. 

According to Lanausse, the deinstitu- 

tionalization of the churches in Cuba 
has resulted in a revival. The churches 
in Cuba depend upon God. They are not 
praying political prayers. They pray for 
freedom to preach the gospel in their 
own country." 

House Churches 
Multiply in Viet Nam 

The number of congregations in one 
branch of the unofficial house churches 
in Viet Nam has more than tripled in 
the last two years. 

There are four branches of the house 
church movement in Viet Nam. This 
one, the largest, grew from about 100 
congregations in April 1993 to 330 by 
the beginning of this year. "We had 850 
converts in December alone," said a 
house-church leader. The same person 
said that their goal for 1995 is 500 

In addition to the house churches, 
which are not recognized by the govern- 
ment, a large number of Tin Lanh 
churches operate openly with approval 
of the government. 

The seven reports above of church prog- 
ress were gleaned from several issues of 
Christian Aid Mission News, a publica- 
tion of Christian Aid Mission. Begun in 
1953, Christian Aid Mission assists ap- 
proximately 400 indigenous Christian 
ministries worldwide and is in contact 
with more than 5,000 others. 

Briefly Noted 

Joni Eareckson Tada won an essay 
contest that enables her ministry to de- 
liver 200 free wheelchairs to Ghana. 
JAF Ministries, an outreach to the dis- 
abled, had the chairs but lacked the 
funds to deliver them. Joni learned of a 
Royal Dutch Airlines contest offering 
free air fare as the prize. Her winning 
essay described first-hand the freedom 
that wheelchairs offer to those limited 
by a disability. Joni has been a quadri- 
plegic since a 1967 diving accident. The 
prize enables Joni and two dozen JAF 
Ministries staff members to fly free to 
deliver the chairs to the West African 

Steve Saint, son of Nate Saint, one 
of five missionaries killed by the Auca 
Indians in 1956, is returning to Ecuador 
to help the tribe that killed his father. 
At the request of the tribe, which asked 
him to help them adjust to 20th century 
life, Saint (44), his wife, and four children 
will go to Ecuador this month (June) to 
start a clinic, trading store, mechanic's 
shop, and radio station. Many of the 
Aucas, now known as the Huaoronis, 
later became Christians, and Steve Saint 

June 1995 

was in fact baptized by one of the men 
who had killed his father. He has main- 
tained close contact with the tribe over 
the years. 

"Casino gambling can destroy the 
heart and soul of a city," said Joseph 
Napolitan, a political consultant who, 
in 1976, designed a strategy that won 
passage of a referendum allowing 
casino gambling in Atlantic City. That 
was the worst mistake of his career, he 
said in an article in a publication of 
Citizens Against Casino Gambling. 
Atlantic City started with one casino, 
but now has 11. Within three years the 
city's crime rate tripled, going from 50th 
in the nation per capita to first, Napoli- 
tan said. The number of homeless peo- 
ple increase by 2,000 percent, property 
values dropped, and almost 200 homes 
of people who refused to sell their prop- 
erty to casinos were destroyed in arson- 
related fires. 

North and South Korean Chris- 
tians hope to hold a joint service at the 
border village of Panmunjom on August 
15. If both governments agree to the 
meeting, it will be the first official con- 
tact on the Korean peninsula by believ- 
ers from the two Koreas. An estimated 

25 percent of South Korea's 44 million 
people are practicing Christians, but 
North Korea estimates only 25,000 Chris- 
tians among its 22 million people. In- 
dependent religious groups are illegal 
in North Korea, but thousands of believ- 
ers meet regularly in small, secret prayer 
services. To avoid raising suspicion, the 
believers sing hymns set to tunes of 
Communist propaganda songs. It is re- 
ported that believers include Commu- 
nist party members and military officers. 

In India more than 4.5 million people 
viewed the Jesus film in 1994, according 
to India Campus Crusade for Christ. Of 
those, 508,928 made decisions for 
Christ. Organizers plan to launch 30 
new Indian teams a month to take the 
film throughout the country. 

Items in "Briefly Noted" were taken 
from National & International Religion Re- 
port (NIRR), a biweekly briefing of relig- 
ious news published by Religion Today, 
Inc. The NIRR newsletter is available in 
print for $49 a year (26 issues) from 
Religion Today, Inc., P.O. Box 21505, 
Roanoke, VA 24018. It is also available 
free of charge via E-Mail. For informa- 
tion about receiving it by E-Mail, call 
NIRR at 703-989-7500 (fax 703-989-0189). 


107th General Conference 

August 7-11 

Ashland, Ohio 

Theme: "The Devoted Church . . . Grows" 

Theme Verses: Acts 2:42-47 

The Book of the Acts describes the com- 
mitments of the early church — to the apos- 
tles' teaching, to the fellowship, to the 
breaking of bread, and to prayer. These com- 
mitments of God's people led to a growing, 
expanding church in Jerusalem, in the sur- 
rounding areas of Judea and Samaria, and 
throughout the known world of that day. 

As we master these same commitments, 
The Brethren Church will experience similar 
growth — in the maturity of "already Chris- 
tians" and in the lives of new followers of 
Jesus Christ. 

The 1995 Conference will feature: 

• William Easum as our outside speaker 
and leader of a Wednesday workshop en- 
titled "Equipping the Laity for Ministry" 

• Jill Briscoe as speaker for the Women's 
Luncheon and World Relief Soup Supper 

• Messages by Moderator Reilly Smith and 
Moderator-Elect Richard Allison 

• Rich times of worship and fellowship 

• A celebration of Brethren missions 

• Updates on denominational ministries 

• Exciting business sessions 

Don't miss this year's General Conference! 
Make plans now to attend, and complete the 
registration form on page 13 no later than 
July 21. 

See you in August! 

William M. Easum 


J -.i! 

LiJ Iti t 

The Brethren Evangelist: 

Changing With the Times 

By Richard C. Winfield, Editor 

be introduced in The Brethren 
EVANGELIST with the next issue (Sep- 
tember). These changes will en- 
compass the purpose, format, and 
content of the magazine as well as 
the way in which it is distributed. 

The overriding purpose of the 
magazine will be to communicate a 
unified vision in The Brethren 
Church. It will seek to do this by 
presenting articles and ideas that 
tell who we are, where we're headed, 
and how we are attempting to get 
there. The focus will be on how we 
can achieve the priorities we have 
set for ourselves as a denomination. 
In sharing news from local Breth- 
ren churches, we will seek to re- 
port what is working and making 
an impact for Christ's kingdom 
rather than just what is happening. 

In format, the EVANGELIST will 
change from a magazine to a news- 
letter. This means it will have fewer 
pages (12 to 16 instead of 24 to 28), 
shorter articles, and a different ap- 
pearance (including a new logo, a 
slightly larger page size, and arti- 
cles starting on the front cover). 

And because it is important to 
communicate a unified vision to 
everyone in The Brethren Church, 
the Evangelist will be sent with- 
out subscription fee to every Breth- 
ren home. The cost of the maga- 
zine will be covered by Fair Share 
giving from local congregations to 
the denomination. 

Change is not new 

Change is not new to the EVAN- 
GELIST. During its 117-year his- 
tory, the magazine has undergone 
many modifications. It actually be- 
gan — in 1878 — as a weekly, four- 
page newspaper called The Progres- 
sive Christian. After the formation 
of The Brethren Church in 1883, 
the name of the paper was changed 
to The Brethren's Evangelist. Then 
in 1885 Brethren's was changed to 
just Brethren, and the name be- 
came what it is today. Sometime 

during the next ten years (we're 
not sure of the date) the number of 
pages was increased to 16, the size 
of the pages was reduced, and the 
denomination's newspaper 
became a magazine. 

During the years that 
followed, various modifi- 
cations were made in the 
appearance, format, num- 
ber of pages, and page size 
of the Evangelist. A ma- 
jor change was made in 
1957 when colored ink 
was added to the maga- 
zine on a regular basis. 

From its beginning, the 
Evangelist had always 
been a weekly publica- 
tion. But that changed too. 
In 1966 it became a bi- 
weekly, and ten years later 
it became a monthly. 

The present format of 
the Evangelist dates to 
October 1984. With that 
issue the page size was 
increased, a new logo was 
introduced, and three col- 
umns became the norm 
throughout the magazine. 
Some new features were 
also introduced at that 
time, among them a chil- 
dren's page, later named 
"The Little Crusader." 

the reason for doing away with the 
subscription fee and sending the 
magazine to all Brethren homes is 
the desire to communicate a uni- 
fied vision to every member of The 
Brethren Church. 

Change is necessary 

In our fast-paced world, change 
is necessary. Institutions that do 
not adapt fail to meet the needs of 
society and become irrelevant. The 
Brethren Church must be willing 

An unprecedented change 

Throughout the years since 
1878, one thing has remained the 
same about the Evangelist. It has 
always been a paid-subscription 
magazine (although, as you can 
imagine, subscription rates have 
changed considerably over the 
years!). But even that is now going 
to change. Beginning in Septem- 
ber, the magazine will be sent 
without subscription fee to all 
Brethren homes for which we have 
addresses. The only subscription 
fee will be for non-Brethren sub- 
scribers to the magazine and for 
gift subscriptions. As noted above, 

Changes in the appearance of the Evangelist are 
illustrated by issues from 1903 (center), 1926 (top 
right), 1946 (bottom left), 1961 (top left), and 1976 
(bottom right). 

to make changes as it prepares to 
meet the challenges of the Twenty- 
First Century. And The Brethren 
Evangelist must change as well in 
order to better serve the church. 
Look for those changes to begin in 
the September issue. [ft] 

One result of the changes being 
made in the Evangelist in Septem- 
ber will be the discontinuation of 
"The Little Crusader." Mrs. Sandi 
Rowsey, a member of the Ashland 
Park Street Brethren Church, has 
faithfully prepared this children's 
page for the past two years. The edi- 
tor wishes to express publicly his ap- 
preciation to Mrs. Rowsey for her 
good work with this page. 

The Brethren Evangelist 

/August 1995 
Volume 117, Number 7 

The Brethren Evangelist 

(ISSN 0747-4288) 


Richard C. Winfield 

Children's Page 

Sandi Rowsey 

Editorial and 
Business Office 

524 College Avenue 

Ashland, OH 44805-3792 

Phone: 419-289-1708 

Published: Monthly (except 
July and August issues are 
combined) by The Brethren 
Church, Inc., 524 College Ave., 
Ashland, OH 44805-3792. Au- 
thors' views are not necessarily 
those of The Brethren Church. 

Subscription Rates: One 

year, $11.50 for 100% church 
lists; $13.50 for church lists 
of five or more names; $14.50 
for individual subscriptions. 
Single-copy price, $1.50. 

Change of Address: Please 
send notice at least three 
weeks in advance. Copy old ad- 
dress from back of magazine 
and send with new address. 

Manuscript Policy: While 
some unsolicited manuscripts 
are accepted, a query letter 
sent first describing a proposed 
manuscript is preferred. In- 
clude a self-addressed, stamped 
envelope with all manuscripts. 
Suggestions and forms for re- 
porting news items are avail- 
able upon request. 

Advertising: The Evangelist 
accepts a limited amount of ad- 
vertising per issue. Rates are 
available upon request. 

Postmaster: Please send Form 
3579 to The Brethren Church, 
524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 

Second Class Postage: Paid 
at Ashland, Ohio. 

Member: Evangelical Press 

Jul\/August 1995 


The Brethren Evangelist: Changing With the Times 2 

by Richard C. Winfield 

An explanation of changes that will be made in the Evangelist begin- 
ning with the September issue. 

Harvest of a Brief Life by Ann Miller 4 

Hannah Wright only lived nine days, but because of her life, several 
people accepted Jesus Christ as their saving Lord. 

Exposing the False Prophets by Nancy Reese 5 

Before we take action on issues of conscience, we must make certain 
that we have all of the relevant facts. 

Brethren in the Early 20th Century by Matthew W. Hamel 6 

A quiz that looks at some of the pioneering efforts of the Progressive 

Jesus Our Example by Brenda B. Colijn 8 

As Christ's followers, we should approach Scripture as He did, live Scrip- 
ture as He did, and apply Scripture as He did. 

Baptism: a Personal Testimony by Alberta Holsinger 9 

One person's experience of rebaptism by trine immersion. 

The Form and Meaning of Baptism by Brenda B. Colijn 10 

When seeking to apply Scripture to the baptism issue, whether to 
obey principle or form is the critical issue. 

Ministry Pages 

Conference Highlights 
Conference Business 

General Conference Preview 






Children's Page 

by Sandi Rowsey 


The July-August Woman's Outlook Newsletter is in the center of this issue. 

Cover: The theme logo for this year's General Conference, as for the past 
several Conferences, was designed by Robin Roberts, a graphic artist who is a 
member of Park Street Brethren Church in Ashland. Special information 
about General Conference is found on pages 11-13 and on the back cover of 
this issue. 

This additional note for Brethren attending Conference for the first time 
this year. You are invited (and urged) to attend a New Attenders Briefing, 
which will be held Monday, August 7, at 4:00 p.m. 

Answers to the Little Crusader page: 

There are many ways you could be a witness to family members — by being 
kind, showing love, telling them about Jesus, reading the Bible to them or 
with them, obeying your parents, living for Jesus, and so on. 

You can show the love of Jesus by sharing your toys, being kind, showing 
forgiveness, by not fighting or saying mean things, and in other ways. 

Harvest of a Brief Life 

By Ann Miller 

Wright ushered in a spiritual 
harvest for the Carmel, Indiana, 
Brethren Church. Hannah, the 
third daughter of Carmel members 
Danny and Dawn Wright, lived 
only nine days (August 31 to Sep- 
tember 8, 1994). She had holopro- 
sencephaly, a condition in which 
less than one-fourth of her brain 
was developed. 

God's comfort to Dan and Dawn 
came immediately. Two days after 
Hannah's birth, as the Wrights were 
struggling with the severity of Han- 
nah's condition, their best friends, 
Kris and Donna Julius, walked into 
their house, sat on their couch, and 
asked to hear about Jesus. 

"I never would have considered 
faith if I wasn't forced to by Han- 
nah's condition," Kris said. 

Dan stayed up most of that night 
telling them about Jesus and shar- 
ing the gospel. Dan and Dawn could 
see that their precious Hannah 
had been used by God to open the 
hearts of Kris and Donna to Jesus. 

The church rallied around the 
Wrights during that difficult week 
of Hannah's brief life. Church mem- 
bers visited the hospital, took food 
to the home, sat with the Wrights 
in their living room. They shared 
tears, hugs, and even some 
laughter during the viewing 
and funeral for Hannah. 

Steve Gasparino, a close 
friend of the Wrights, 
rocked on their front porch 
after the funeral while the 
church family milled about. 
He commented, "You Chris- 
tians have a peace and joy I 
need desperately." He had 
been watching the Wrights 
and their church friends 

Mrs. Miller is a member of 
the Carmel, Ind., Brethren 
Church, where her husband, 
Jim, is the pastor. 

throughout the viewing and the 
funeral. He saw a marked differ- 
ence between their attitude of hope 
and the utter devastation of the 
other mourners. 

Later Dawn laughed and said, "I 
think every person from church 
witnessed to Steve that day!" 

Greg Cahall had been attending 
Carmel Brethren through the 
encouragement of his wife, Barb. 
Something about little Hannah 
touched his heart as no earlier 
tragedy had. Neither Greg's Chris- 
tian upbringing nor his wife's con- 
version several years earlier had 
caused him to come to Jesus. Little 
Hannah did. 

Following the funeral pizza din- 
ner, as Dan walked my husband, 
Pastor Jim Miller, out to his car, 
Dan said, "You know, Jim, I think 
Dawn and I are going to have to 
start a Bible study. . . ." First Steve, 
then Kris and Donna were saved 
as a result of that Bible study. 
Dawn says she can't get over the 
tremendous change in her friends. 

During two weeks last October, 
Pastor Jim baptized ten people — 
three men and seven children. Then 
just when Pastor Jim thought he 
wouldn't be using the baptistry again 
for awhile, Mary Wertz — whom the 

Danny and Dawn Wright with daughters Danielle (I.) and Sarah. 





Carmel church had loved and up- 
held in prayer for two years — told 
the congregation one Sunday morn- 
ing that she had become a Chris- 
tian. And Tom Fisher, who attends 
regularly with his family, chose to 
reaffirm his faith by being baptized, 
with Mary, on Easter Sunday. 

Pastor Jim has decided to "leave 
the water in the baptistry." Three 
of his co-workers (Jim works full 
time as a bank teller in addition to 
serving as pastor) and I have be- 
gun an evangelistic Bible study. 
These co-workers, in turn, invited 
their manicurist to join the 
Bible study with them. Of 
those women, Robin Terrell 
was saved on May 10 and 
two of the others are seri- 
ously considering a rela- 
tionship with Jesus. 

Dan and Dawn and their 
children, Danielle (8) and 
Sarah (6), have experienced 
grieving and healing this 
year. They are expecting 
their fourth daughter in 

The Carmel Brethren 
Church is expecting as well 
— expecting those they hope 
to see born again. [ft] 

The Brethren Evangelist 

Exposing the False Prophets 

By Nancy Reese 

Watch out for false prophets. They 

come to you in sheep's clothing, but 

inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 

By their fruit you will recognize them. 

Matthew 7:15, 16; mv 

that in these verses Jesus was 
talking about people who represent 
themselves as pastors and minis- 
ters who know and preach God's 
word, but who instead lead God's 
people astray. As I've grown in my 
walk with our Lord, however, I've 
discovered that Jesus' teaching 
about false prophets doesn't apply 
only to those who pass themselves 
off as pastors and ministers. 

When I was a newlywed, my sis- 
ter-in-law and I heard that the 
moon and stars symbol on the back 
of Proctor & Gamble products was 
a satanic symbol. As a Christian I 
felt that it wouldn't be appropriate 
for me to support that company by 
continuing to buy its products. 

A matter of fairness 

But before boycotting the prod- 
ucts, I felt that it was only fair to 
contact Proctor & Gamble to ask 
specifically what this symbol meant 
and to inform the company of my 
intentions to boycott its products if 
it was involved in the occult. A 
representative of the company sent 
me a very nice letter dispelling any 
rumors and explaining that the 
symbol came from shipping indus- 
tries of more than 100 years ago. 

Having gotten this information, I 
was certainly taken aback when, 
14 years later, a Christian friend 
gave me a letter urging Christians 
to boycott all Proctor & Gamble 

Mrs. Reese is a wife, mother of two 
children, and a first grade teacher. She 
is a member of the Oakville, Ind., First 
Brethren Church. 

Jul\/August 1995 

products because of the company's 
occult practices! 

I try to be very careful of what I 
get involved in and where I give 
financial support. I want to believe 
in the ministries I support. I want 
them to be ministries that God 
Himself is pleased with. 

I have been called naive many 
times. I prefer to think of myself as 
hopeful and fair. But maybe it was 
my naivete that caused me to in- 
vestigate this rumor about Proctor 
& Gamble. Nevertheless, I felt that 
a company that was accused of be- 
ing so blatant about its occult af- 
filiations would certainly not be 
afraid to tell little ol' me the truth. 

Results of the investigation 

Here are just a few of the things 
I learned through my investigation: 

1. The letter claimed that on 
March 1, 1992, the president of 
Proctor & Gamble appeared on the 
Phil Donahue show and announced 
his association with the Church of 
Satan. But March 1, 1992, fell on a 
Sunday, and Donahue's show is 
not aired on Sunday. 

2. The letter also claimed that 
"beginning in April" a symbol of 
ram's horns would begin appearing 
on Proctor & Gamble products. 
That was in 1992. That symbol has 

The Rumors Continue 

The false rumors about the Proctor 
& Gamble Company are still not dead. 
They recently popped up again. Not 
only is it wrong to spread these 
rumors, it could also end you up in 
court. The June 1995 issue of NAE 
Washington Insight (a publication of 
the Office of Public Affairs of the Na- 
tional Association of Evangelicals) re- 
ports that Proctor & Gamble has 
successfully prosecuted more than a 
dozen cases against persons who 
have spread the rumors. 

yet to appear. In fact, as I write 
this on June 6, 1995, there are no 
symbols on Proctor & Gamble 
products, not even the old moon 
and stars symbol. 

3. The letter also claimed that a 
recent Merv Griffin show featured 
a group of cultists, of which one 
was the owner of Proctor & Gam- 
ble. Merv Griffin hasn't had a talk 
show for at least 12 years. Fur- 
thermore, Proctor & Gamble 
doesn't have one owner. It is 
owned by stockholders. 

4. The letter gave an address to 
which a person could write for a 
transcript of the Donahue show. 
The address was incorrect. 

I uncovered a wealth of informa- 
tion dispelling these rumors that 
Proctor & Gamble was involved in 
something satanic. As a matter of 
fact, William Proctor, the founder 
of Proctor and Gamble, was a de- 
vout Christian and an active Epis- 
copalian, according to the VII 
Bishop William G. Black of South- 
ern Ohio. He tithed his income be- 
fore he and James Gamble ever 
produced their first bar of soap. 

His grandson, William Cooper 
Proctor, continued this tradition by 
giving money and properties to the 
Diocese of Southern Ohio. And the 
endowments continue. A 1,100- 
acre farm donated in 1954 by his 
widow is now the Proctor Center, 
at which many of the diocesan con- 
ferences and programs are held. 

Know the facts 

I do believe that Christians 
sometimes need to boycott busi- 
nesses when the actions or affili- 
ations of those businesses go di- 
rectly against what we believe and 
profess. But before we get in- 
volved, it is very important that we 
know the facts. We depend on the 
(continued on page 7) 

Brethren in the Early 20th Century 

By Matthew W. Hamel 

Because of their progressive outlook, early members of The Brethren Church were 
open to new kinds of ministry. In this quiz, we look at some of their pioneering efforts. 

1. During the 1920s there was 
increased concern for the youth of 
The Brethren Church. One out- 
growth of this concern was the be- 
ginning of the summer camping 
program. The first Brethren camp 
was located in this state: 

Pennsylvania. Go to 10. 
Indiana. Go to 5. 

2. Si, sefior/senora! Since 1909, 
when Charles F. Yoder began Breth- 
ren Mission work in Argentina, The 

a pres- 
ence in 

Born in 
proved Charles F. Yoder 

to be an important person in the 
denomination. He turned down a 
teaching position at his alma ma- 
ter, the University of Chicago, to 
become editor of THE BRETHREN 
Evangelist in 1903. In addition to 
serving as editor, he also taught 
classes occasionally at Ashland 
College and served as secretary of 
the Foreign Missionary Society from 
1903 to ca. 1906. Ease over to 8. 

Mr. Hamel, a member of the Johns- 
town, Pa., Second Brethren Church, 
currently lives in Ashland, Ohio, and 
attends the new Brethren Church of 
Medina. Mr. Hamel wishes to acknow- 
ledge the encouragement and editorial 
assistance of Dr. Dale Stoffer and the 
editor in preparing this series of quiz- 
zes on Brethren history. 

3. Another Brethren congrega- 
tion that merged with a local Church 
of the Brethren group is located in 
this Iowa city: 

Waterloo. Go to 16. 
Lanark. Go to 19. 

4. Whoa, partner! The oldest con- 
gregation in Arizona is the Tucson 
First Brethren Church, which was 
organized in 1951 by the Mission- 
ary Board of the Brethren Church. 
Git along to 20. 

5. Good! The first Brethren 
church camp was held in 1927 on 
the shores of Lake Shipshewana, 
on land donated by interested 
members. Now known as Indiana 
Brethren Retreat, the facility is 
used year-round for a variety of 
programs. Hike to 21. 

6. Following the organization of 
The Brethren Church in 1883, con- 
cerned members began to pledge 
support for an urban mission in 
this city: 

Chicago. Go to 11. 
Washington. Go to 14. 

7. Good job! The Falls City Church 
was organized in 1867. Following the 
1882-83 division, Progressive mem- 
bers purchased the building from 
the Conservative (Church of the 
Brethren) faction. The two groups 
joined again in 1947 as the Falls City 
First Brethren Church. Go to 3. 

8. Brethren also heeded the call 
to "Go West!" The first Brethren 
congregations in the land of tum- 
bleweed were located in this state: 

Arizona. Go to 4. 
Wyoming. Go to 20. 

9. Not quite. Yonan Y. Auraham, 
a native of Iran (Persia), came to 
the United States to study. While 
here, he joined The Brethren 
Church and was recruited to work 
in his homeland. He returned to 

Iran in 1903 with Brethren support, 
but plans to send Brethren mis- 
sionaries to work with him were 
later abandoned due to civil unrest 
in that land. Travel on to 2. 

10. Whoops! The camping pro- 
gram in the Keystone State began 
in 1933, six years after the one in 
Indiana. Camp Juniata, as it was 
called, was held at various rented 
locations. The Pennsylvania Dis- 
trict's current camp (Peniel) is lo- 
cated on the former homestead of 
John Meyers (founder of nearby 
Meyersdale), and was purchased 
in 1962. Backtrack to 5. 

11. It's your kind of town! It's 
also the correct answer! The Chi- 
cago Mission was started in 1896 
by John McFaden and Sadie Gib- 
bons. Blow on over to 18. 

12. Progressive Brethren congre- 
gations were begun in the Plains 
States shortly after the 1883 divi- 
sion. The First Brethren Church at 
Falls City, Nebraska, is notable for 
this reason: 

It was destroyed by natural dis- 
aster. Go to 15. 

It merged with a local Church of 
the Brethren congregation. Go to 7. 

13. Afraid not. The "walking 
preacher" was Jacob Leatherman, 
who lived nearly a century earlier. 
To keep preaching appointments 
during his 56 years of ministry, 
Jacob walked an estimated 20,000 
miles. Walk, don't run, to 17. 

14. Sorry! The Washington con- 
gregation was not the result of an 
urban mission. It was begun by 
several progressive members of a 
local German Baptist Brethren 
congregation and was formally 
chartered in 1901. See 11. 

15. You blew it! The Falls City 
Church was not destroyed, but its 

The Brethren Evangelist 

neighboring congregation in Carle- 
ton, Nebr., lost its building to a 
tornado in 1908. A new building 
was constructed, but that burned 
down in 1911. A third building was 
erected in 1912. Sometime after 
1980, the congregation disbanded. 
Scoot over to 7. 

16. Right on! The Waterloo, Iowa, 
First Brethren Church merged 
with the City Church of the Breth- 
ren in Waterloo on January 3, 
1993. Known as the Hammond 
Avenue Brethren Church, it now 
ministers to the community with a 
common purpose. Move on to 22. 

17. Yes indeed! N. V. Leather- 
man pastored churches in Penn- 
sylvania, Indiana, California, and 
Maryland, and was known by 
many for his work with the Young 
Men and Boys Brotherhood. He 
also served for more than 20 years 

as secretary of the National Sun- 
day School Association of The 
Brethren Church. Move on to 6. 

18. Foreign Missions were also 
a priority for the newly organized 
Brethren Church. Shortly after the 
turn of the century, Brethren be- 
gan working in this country: 

Iran (Persia). Go to 9. 
Argentina. Go to 2. 

19. Lanark is in Illinois. Try 16. 

20. Right on, partner! The Chey- 
enne First Brethren Church began 
in 1944 under the supervision of 
Pastor Frank Garber, with Sunday 
school being held in the homes of 
members. Migrate to 12. 

21. The father of the camping 
program in Pennsylvania was Rev. 
N. Victor Leatherman. For his 
leadership within the denomina- 
tion he was known as: 

The Walking Preacher." Go to 
"Mr. Brethren Church." Go to 17. 

22. Congratulations! You've fin- 
ished this whirlwind tour of Breth- 
ren history! 

For further reading: 

Articles in The Brethren Encyclopedia, 
Donald F. Durnbaugh, ed. Philadelphia, 
PA and Oak Brook, IL: The Brethren En- 
cyclopedia, Inc., 1983. 

Freeman Ankrum. Sidelights on Breth- 
ren History. Elgin: The Brethren Press, 

Henry R. Holsinger. History of the Junk- 
ers and the Brethren Church. Oakland, 
CA: Pacific Press Publishing Co., 1901. 

Albert T. Ronk. History of the Brethren 
Church. Ashland, OH: Brethren Publish- 
ing Co., 1968. 

Charles F. Yoder, God's Means of 
Grace. Elgin, IL Brethren Publishing House, 

False Prophets 

(continued from page 5) 
Holy Spirit to write the truth on 
our hearts. We count on Him to 
tell us what is true and what is 
false. We can rely on the same 
Holy Spirit to give us discernment 
when we are investigating rumors. 

When we spread false rumors or 
base our actions on such rumors, 
we make all Christians look fool- 
ish. Are we guilty of being false 
prophets by blindly following others 
and letting them do our thinking 
for us? 

How do we get caught up in 
these false rumors? One reason we 
do so is because we forget that our 
leaders are human. Because they 
represent God, we accept their 
words without evaluating them care- 
fully. A second reason we are de- 
ceived is because some individuals 
or groups purposely begin rumors 
that cause others to suffer in order 
to further their own cause. To give 
these rumors greater credibility, 
they will tack on the name of a 
person or organization for whom 
Christians have great respect. 

How can we protect ourselves 
from being deceived and from pass- 
ing along false rumors and becom- 

JulVAugust 1995 

ing involved in unjustified boycotts? 

(1) Let us remember that our 
faith should not be in humans but 
only in the Lord. Look to the Lord 
alone for your guidance, and you 
will find truth and only truth. 

(2) Know the word of God and 

Let's Be Wise 

Another falsehood that keeps resur- 
facing is that Madalyn Murray O'Hair 
is petitioning the Federal Communi- 
cations Commission to remove all re- 
ligious broadcasts from the airwaves. 
This is untrue now as it has been 
since 1975! Yet zealous Christians 
have sent thousands and thousands 
of letters in protest of the non-existent 
petition to the Federal Communica- 
tions Commission, thus making Chris- 
tians look exceedingly foolish (and un- 
doubtedly trying the patience of those 
who work at the FCC!). 

If you have questions about rumors, 
allegations, or boycotts of this kind, 
contact Ron Waters at The Brethren 
Church National Office (419-289- 
1708); or call the NAE Office of Pub- 
lic Affairs (202-789-101 1). Ask before 
you sign (or copy or distribute)! 

Jesus told His disciples that they 
were to be as wise as snakes and as 
harmless as doves (Matt. 10:16). Let 
us not be a bunch of venomous bird- 
brains instead! 

evaluate what you hear from your 
pulpits and on your radios and 
televisions by that word. Are they 
speaking the truths of the Lord? 
Hold them accountable for what 
they are preaching. 

(3) Contact the organizations and 
individuals who are distributing the 
letters and making the allegations. 
Ask them for proof of their charges. 
Keep investigating until you get to 
the origin of the letters. 

(4) Most importantly, pray that 
God will show you the truth. 

I am not a personal friend of any- 
one at Proctor & Gamble, nor do I 
own stock in the company. I am 
not an investigative reporter, and I 
certainly do not have an overabun- 
dance of logical reasoning skills. 
(My husband will attest to that!) I 
uncovered all of these facts about 
Proctor & Gamble by using my 
head. You could have gotten the 
same information by calling the 
toll-free number that is listed on 
the back of all Proctor & Gamble 

It doesn't take a rocket scientist 
to uncover truth. Let us pray that 
we will have eyes to see, ears to 
hear, and hearts that are pure. The 
Holy Spirit will honor that prayer 
by revealing His truth to us. [ft] 

the Bible 

THE BIBLE says that Jesus is 
not only our Lord and Savior 
but also our example. John declares, 
This is how we know we are in 
him: Whoever claims to live in him 
must walk as Jesus did" (1 John 
2:5-6.* The Centennial Statement 
(p. 5) directs Brethren to "the 
teaching and example of Jesus and 
the apostles" as our standard to 
follow. How Brethren Understand 
God's Word extends this idea to in- 
terpreting the Bible, stating, "The 
Brethren were guided in all their 
interpretations by the teaching 
and example of Christ and the 
apostles" (p. 9). 

But what does it mean that Jesus 
is our example in interpreting the 
Bible? As I have reflected on this 
question, I have concluded that to 
follow Jesus' example, we should 
approach Scripture as He did, live 
Scripture as He did, and apply 
Scripture as He did. 

Approaching Scripture 

To approach Scripture as Jesus 
did, we must acknowledge its inspi- 
ration, its authority, and its Christ- 
centered focus. Jesus affirmed that 
Scripture (which for Him was the 
Old Testament) was completely 
true, trustworthy, and authorita- 
tive. He described the Old Testa- 
ment as God's word and said that 
the Law would never pass away 

*Quotations from the Bible are from the 
New International Version. 

Dr. Colijn is a member of the Smoky 
Row Brethren Church in Worthington, 
Ohio, and an adjunct professor at Ash- 
land Theological Seminary. She chairs 
The Brethren Church's Committee on 
Doctrine, Research, and Publication, 
which is preparing this series of articles. 



Our Example 

By Brenda B. Colijn 

until it had all been accomplished 
(Matt. 5:18; 15:6). He identified 
God's word with truth and declared 
that the Scriptures cannot be bro- 
ken (John 17:17; 10:35). 

In debating with the Pharisees 
about the Old Testament teaching 
on divorce, however, Jesus distin- 
guished between regulations that 
met people where they were and 
principles intended for all time. He 
argued that Scripture should be in- 
terpreted according to God's high- 
est intentions: Therefore, what God 
has joined together, let man not 
separate. . . . Moses permitted you 
to divorce your wives because your 
hearts were hard. But it was not 
this way from the beginning" (Matt. 
19:6, 8). Following Jesus' example 
will mean that we will submit our- 
selves to Scripture and try to un- 
derstand it as God intends. 

Jesus knew that He was the cul- 
mination of God's revelation and 
that all of Scripture pointed to Him 
(Luke 24:25-27; John 5:39-40). He 
understood Scripture in that light. 
He put His own words on a level 
with the Old Testament, saying 
that they would never pass away 
(Matt. 24:35). 

He even claimed the right to re- 
focus Old Testament teaching, in- 
cluding the Ten Commandments: 
"You have heard that it was said to 
the people long ago, 'Do not mur- 
der, and anyone who murders will 
be subject to judgment.' But I tell 
you that anyone who is angry with 
his brother will be subject to judg- 
ment" (Matt. 5:21-22). When He 
was accused of Sabbath-breaking, 
He told the Pharisees, "For the Son 
of Man is Lord of the Sabbath" 
(Matt. 12:8). 

Although the New Testament 
documents hadn't yet been written 

during Jesus' earthly ministry, the 
same principle applies to them. We 
understand them in light of the 
revelation in Jesus, and we use His 
teaching and His example as a 
guide when we interpret them. 

In some evangelical churches, 
preaching and teaching focuses 
much more on Paul than on Jesus. 
Paul was certainly an inspired and 
faithful interpreter of Jesus, but he 
would have been the last one to 
want to take our focus away from 
Christ! He told the Corinthians, "For 
I resolved to know nothing while I 
was with you except Jesus Christ 
and him crucified" (1 Cor. 2:2). 

Living Scripture 

To live Scripture as Jesus did, we 
must immerse ourselves in it. 
Jesus didn't just know Scripture; 
He lived it every day. He saw His 
life and ministry in a scriptural 
framework, and He saw His own 
identity in terms of the messianic 
prophecies of the Old Testament. 
For example, at the start of His 
ministry, He read Isaiah 61:1-2 in 
the synagogue at Nazareth and 
then declared, "Today this scrip- 
ture is fulfilled in your hearing" 
(Luke 4:16-21). As His passion ap- 
proached, He told His disciples, "It 
is written: 'And he was numbered 
with the transgressors'; and I tell 
you that this must be fulfilled in 
me. Yes, what is written about me 
is reaching its fulfillment" (Luke 
22:37; see Is. 53:12). 

He used Scripture in His teach- 
ing and in His debates with relig- 
ious leaders. For example, He re- 
buked the Sadducees: "You are in 
error because you do not know the 
Scriptures or the power of God" 
(Matt. 22:29). He also used Scrip- 
ture to give Him strength and to 

The Brethren Evangelist 

"When we apply the Bible, we can look for ways to follow our Lord by putting 
His words and actions into practice. When we encounter a difficult situ- 
ation, we can ask ourselves the old question, *What would Jesus do?' " 

express His deepest feelings during 
the most critical times of His life, 
including His temptation and His 
crucifixion (Matt. 4:4-11; 27:46). 

Our lives, of course, are not the 
fulfillment of Old Testament messi- 
anic prophecies! But we can follow 
Jesus' example by immersing our- 
selves in Scripture as He did. We 
can draw our identity from the bib- 
lical revelation of who we are in 
God's sight. We can receive guid- 
ance from Scripture for our own 
ministries. We can use it in wit- 
nessing. We can study it, meditate 
upon it, and memorize it so that it 
will stand ready to support and 
comfort us in our trials. 

We can live Scripture in compan- 
ionship with the Holy Spirit, that 
Counselor whom Jesus sent to be 
with us in His stead (John 14:16- 
17). As "another Counselor" (a 
Counselor like Jesus), the Spirit 
does for us what Jesus would do if 
He were here bodily. As we read 
Scripture in prayerful reliance upon 
the Holy Spirit's counsel, we can 
expect Him to have His way in our 
lives, drawing us closer to God and 
forming us into Christ's likeness. 

In one of my favorite passages 
from the early Brethren (which I 
have quoted before in this series), 
an anonymous eighteenth-century 
writer urged the Brethren to live 
out the Scriptures so that "the 
entire life of the reader becomes a 
living letter of God in which one 
can read all the commandments of 
Jesus Christ." 

Applying Scripture 

To apply Scripture as Jesus did, 
we must read the Bible as His disci- 
ples. We can open our Bibles asking 
a simple question — What does our 
Master want of us? — and waiting 
expectantly for an answer. 

We will not rest content with 
head knowledge but will push on 
farther to heart knowledge and 
obedience. Jesus was always con- 
cerned with the heart. He taught 
that the pure in heart would see 

JulVAugust 1995 

God (Matt. 5:8). He said that the 
contents of our hearts will overflow 
in our speech (Luke 6:43-45). Jesus 
Himself lived a life of perfect obedi- 
ence to His Father's will (John 
8:28-29; Phil. 2:8; Heb. 5:8-9). He 
expects the same of us, His disci- 
ples: "If you love me, you will obey 
what I command" (John 14:15). He 
chided the crowd: "Why do you call 
me, Tjord, Lord,' and do not do what 
I say?" (Luke 6:46). 

When we apply the Bible, we can 
look for ways to follow our Lord by 
putting His words and actions into 
practice. When we encounter a dif- 
ficult situation, we can ask our- 
selves the old question, "What would 
Jesus do?" If we spend time with 
Him in Scripture and in prayer, 
we're more likely to know the an- 
swer to that question. 

Following Jesus in obedience to 
Scripture will often take us in di- 
rections that are contrary to the val- 
ues of our culture. Jesus predicted 
that the world would hate us (John 
15:18-20). Most of us in this culture 
haven't experienced that hatred as 
intensely as the first disciples did. 
Sometimes, in fact, we may get so 
comfortable in the world that we 
need Jesus' reminder that we can't 
serve two masters (Matt. 6:24). 

But following Jesus as our Lord 
and our example gives greater re- 
wards than the world can offer. We 
have His presence, His guidance, 
and the promise of eternal life with 
Him. And as we follow Him in lov- 
ing discipleship, we have the assur- 
ance that when we are fully trained, 
we will be like our Master (Luke 
6:40). [*] 

A Personal Testimony 

By Alberta Holsinger 

in a small town where I at- 
tended a Methodist Church. After par- 
ticipating in the pastor's class that 
spring, one Sunday morning I was 
baptized by sprinkling (believer's 
baptism) and received into church 

We moved frequently. In each com- 
munity my membership transferred 
into a different denomination. 

Then I returned to my home town 
of Ashland, Ohio, to attend college. 
My family background was Church of 
the Brethren, and that was the church 
I chose to attend. 

After a time the pastor talked with 
me about church membership. He ex- 
plained to me that I would need to be 
baptized by trine immersion. 

"But I have been baptized," I re- 
sponded. "Baptism is a symbol, and I 
don't think I need to be baptized 

"I understand," the pastor answered. 
"We are happy to have you worship 
with us, and we would be very 
pleased to have you as a member." 

Eventually I wanted to teach in the 
children's department. As I thought 
about it, I realized I would need to 
teach baptism by trine immersion. 
How could I do that if I had not ex- 
perienced it? I needed to teach by ex- 
ample as well as by words. 

One unforgettable Sunday evening 
I was baptized by trine immersion. 
The joy of that moment is indescrib- 
able. My sins were buried through 
Christ's death, and I was raised to 
new life in Him. I felt it. I knew it. 

This year at General Conference 
we are to discuss the possibility of 
receiving into membership Chris- 
tians who have experienced any form 
of believers' baptism. Should I dis- 
agree and perhaps exclude some fine 
Christians from membership in our 
church? Should I agree and thereby 
prevent someone from experiencing 
the joy that comes through immer- 
sion? I don't know. 

All I know is that I'm very thankful 
the church did not have a lenient 
baptismal policy for me. If it had, I 
would have been denied one of the 
greatest blessings of my life. [ft] 

Mrs. Holsinger, a long-time member 
of The Brethren Church and former 
Brethren pastor's wife, is a member of 
the Ashland Park Street Brethren con- 

The Form and Meaning of Baptism 

By Brenda B. Colijn 


I HAVE BEEN MOVED to respond to 
Rev. Emery Hurd's article in the June 
Evangelist, "A Defense of Believer Im- 
mersion as a Standard for Membership 
in The Brethren Church." (Rev. Hurd's 
article was itself a response to an article 
by Dr. Dale Stoffer in the April Evangel- 
ist.) I appreciate and commend Rev. 
Hurd's desire to be biblical and to be 
obedient — both of which commitments 
are very Brethren. However, I believe 
that some of the connections he makes 
confuse the issue rather than illuminate 
it. In particular, I want to address the 
issues of form as a "communication of 
principles," baptism as an "indicative 
form," and baptism's biblical meaning. 

Principles and Indicative Forms 

Forms are not arbitrary; they are cho- 
sen because they communicate mean- 
ing. Rev. Hurd argues that our form of 
baptism should communicate the bibli- 
cal principles of baptism, and I agree. 
(Dr. Stoffer made the same argument in 
his article.) When we baptize, we should 
use the form of baptism that best com- 
municates the biblical meaning of the 
rite. I believe this form to be trine im- 
mersion. However, the issue before us is 
not what form of baptism we will prac- 
tice, but under what conditions we will 
accept other believers into full fellow- 
ship (that is, membership). 

Rev. Hurd's category of "indicative 
forms" goes much further than his argu- 
ment about form as a communication of 
principles. I have not encountered the 
concept of indicative forms in my read- 
ing in biblical interpretation. But if I 
understand Rev. Hurd correctly, he be- 
lieves that indicative forms are "essen- 
tial to the communication of the princi- 
ples" they express. He regards immer- 
sion as "essential to the communication 
of the principles of baptism," which he 
describes as cleansing from sin. 

If, as Rev. Hurd argues, "baptism is 
immersion," then the immersion form is 
essential to the performance of the ordi- 
nance. Without the form, a valid ordi- 
nance has not been performed. Let's be 
very clear about what we are saying if 
we take this position. We are saying to 
people who have been baptized by other 
forms of believer baptism that they have 

Dr. Colijn is a member of the Smoky Row 
Brethren Church in Worthington, Ohio, and 
an adjunct professor at Ashland Theological 

not been baptized. We are saying, in fact, 
that those homebound and hospitalized 
Brethren who have been baptized by 
other forms have not been baptized. 

The early Anabaptists were willing to 
say that infant baptism was no baptism 
at all, but merely a "water bath," and 
they were willing to die for that posi- 
tion — as many of them did. But do we 
want to say the same about other forms 
of believer baptism? 

The biblical and historical evidence 
certainly supports the conclusion that 
immersion is the preferred form of bap- 
tism. But it does not support immersion 
as an indicative form. If immersion 
were essential to the performance of the 
ordinance, it would be directly com- 
manded in Scripture. And if immersion 
were an indicative form, the Didache 
(representing the practice of the early 
church) would not have accepted other 
forms under any circumstances. People 
in the first century could have traveled 
to find water for immersion, if that were 
essential to baptism. But the Didache, 
while it prefers immersion, accepts other 
forms if immersion is not convenient. 

Biblical Meaning 

Rev. Hurd states that the biblical 
meaning of baptism is "an act of burial 
and resurrection, a symbol of a new life 
in Christ, and a work of each of the three 
persons of the Trinity." He also notes 
that it expresses cleansing from sin. As 
we consider people who have received 
Jesus Christ as saving Lord and have 
publicly confessed Him as such through 
believer baptism, do we believe that 
those people possess new life in Christ? 
Have they been cleansed from their 
sins? Are they members of the body of 
Christ? If they are, in fact, alive in 
Christ, cleansed from sin, and members 
of Christ's body, and they have publicly 
testified to this through their previous 
baptism, why should we ask them 
to perform an action that is, for them, 
completely divorced from its biblical 

Baptism is not something we do to 
mark significant life events. Scripture is 
clear that baptism is a once-for-all iden- 
tification of the believer with Christ and 
with His church. I am concerned that by 
asking people to be rebaptized, we are 
essentially asking them to deny Christ's 
earlier work in their lives. 

The argument based on church mem- 
bership also concerns me — that is, the 

idea that people who want to affiliate 
with The Brethren Church should sub- 
scribe to the form of baptism that we 
practice as a condition of membership. 
The New Testament and the early 
church knew nothing of this concept of 
church membership. It wasn't neces- 
sary until the development of denomi- 
nations. In the early church, people ex- 
pressed their commitment to Christ and 
His church through baptism. I under- 
stand that our changed situation makes 
something like formal church member- 
ship necessary. But we should not use a 
New Testament ordinance, divorced 
from its biblical meaning, in the service 
of a man-made custom. 

Forms and Principles Again 

As we work through this issue to- 
gether, we must be biblical — but we 
must also decide in this instance what 
being biblical means. Both Rev. Hurd 
and Dr. Stoffer want to be biblical. Rev. 
Hurd wants to be biblical by obeying 
Scripture at the level of form, while Dr. 
Stoffer wants to be biblical by obeying 
Scripture at the level of principle. 
Whether to obey principle or form is 
the critical issue when we try to apply 

There are times when obeying a form 
would mean distorting or denying the 
principle it is intended to express. For 
example, a conservative Mennonite stu- 
dent at Ashland Seminary told me 
about an experience of his father, who 
is in prison ministry. His father be- 
lieved that Christians are commanded 
to practice the holy kiss with one an- 
other, men with men and women with 
women (see Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20; 2 
Cor. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:26; 1 Pet. 5:14). 
However, he was forced to decide that 
practicing the holy kiss in the prison 
environment, where homosexuality was 
common, would distort the meaning of 
that practice. So the Christian inmates 
developed another greeting that would 
express a warm family connection with- 
out communicating any sexual mean- 
ing. This may seem a strange example 
to some of us Progressive Brethren, who 
long ago decided to obey the holy kiss in 
principle (with a hug or a handshake) 
rather than in form. 

The issue before us seems, to me, an- 
other instance in which requiring the 
form would distort the biblical meaning. 
I am reminded of the discussion of prin- 
ciples and forms that took place at the 
Jerusalem Council in Acts 15, a discus- 
sion of the circumstances under which 
the Gentiles would be received into full 
fellowship. I want us to be sure that we 
receive people on the same grounds God 
does. Let us be biblical — and let us not 
impose unnecessary burdens on those 
"Gentiles" who are coming to us. [ft] 


The Brethren Evangelist 

^publication, tfthc ^rcthrcK HVonutyvs (Missionary Socitttf 

July-August 1995 

Volume 8, Number 6 

Ik presidents Jm An u P date From Malaysia 

Dear Ladies, 

What a beautiful time of year! It is 
so nice to wake up in the morning to 
the sun shining in the bedroom win- 
dow. I love to hear the birds singing as 
I try to talk myself into getting out of 

We have a lot of birds in our yard 
and every year they insist on building 
their nests on my side porch. We have 
our grill, table, and chairs out there 
and we use it a lot in the nice weather. 
So the birds "kinda" interfere with 
that. We take the nests down, they 
build them again. I did not realize they 
can build a nest in such a short time. 
I keep telling them we have trees in 
our yard and they can build their nests 
there, but they like the porch. They 
just do not give up! 

Wouldn't it be great if we were that 
determined when witnessing to those 
without Christ. We give up too easily. 
I've said before that a favorite saying 
of my husband is Talk to God about 
man before you talk to man about 
God." Too many of us talk to God about 
a friend or family member without 
Christ, but then we "forget" to talk to 
man about God. 

As Christians, we need to always be 
ready to witness, either by voice or by 
our actions. I read of a missionary who 
was returning home after many years 
in New Guinea. He said that when he 
first arrived there, he found that the 
people seemed utterly devoid of moral 
sense. If a mother was carrying her lit- 
tle one and the baby began to cry, she 
would throw it into the ditch and let it 
die. If a man saw his father break his 
leg, he would leave him by the roadside 
to suffer by himself. They had no com- 
passion whatsoever. That would be very 
hard for us to comprehend, wouldn't it? 

When asked what the missionary 
did for them, he replied, "I thought it 
best to show them my faith by my 
works. When I saw a baby crying, I 
picked it up and consoled it. When I 
saw a man with a broken leg, I sought 
(continued on page 4) 

May 9, 1995 

Greetings to you in the Lord and 
from Malaysia. 

We have the pleasure of writing to 
you. It is our great joy to serve our 
Lord and The Brethren Church in our 

Our two children are big now, espe- 
cially Stephen. He is a young man and 
he will be 18 by May 17. He antici- 
pates to study music at Ashland Uni- 
versity (OH) in the fall of 1995. He 
passed in the upper secondary level 
(Malaysian Certificate of Education) 
last November. He plays the violin and 
piano; presently he is a part-time mu- 
sic teacher at Yamaha Music School. 
He teaches violin and helps to teach 
the Ashland Kindergarten at Selesa 
Jay a in the mornings. 

Rebecca is 10 years old and she is a 
4th grader at Tun Aminah Elementary 
School. As far as possible, the Malay- 
sian Government has provided free 
elementary education for all citizens of 
this country. The six years of elemen- 
tary education in Malaysia is aimed at 
providing a good foundation for chil- 
dren in the 3 R's; i.e., a proficiency in 
reading, writing, and arithmetic. And 
the school uses Malay language as the 
medium of instruction. 

I (Jenny) am still working at the Jo- 
hor Specialist Hospital. Presently I am 
acting as a Head Nurse of the Mater- 
nity Unit. I have never been interested 
in the administration. However, I will 
give it a try. I have yet to get used to 
this new post — long working hours and 
frequent meetings. I still prefer bed- 
side nursing. 

I help David with teaching the chil- 
dren Sunday school, which is held on 
Saturdays. Sundays used to be work- 
ing days and school days. That was 
why we have children's hour on Satur- 
days. Since 1994, when Johor Baru be- 
came a city, Sunday became an official 
day off. But we still hold it on Satur- 
days because most people want to have 
a day out with the family on Sundays. 

I work a full day on Sundays and 

take turns with the members to lead 
the Sunday evening worship. Some 
evenings, David and I make house 
calls to the members. Saturday is my 
rest day. 

David is teaching kindergarten in the 
mornings and teaches English tuition 
class two evenings a week. He also 
acts as a driver to fetch and send the 
kindergarten children, tuition class 
children. David works seven days a 
week. On top of the church work in 
Johor Baru, he also oversees the mis- 
sion work in Penang. 

David's mum is doing quite well in 
her 73 years of age. She helps a lot in 
household chores, even though she has 
some of the old age ailments — pains and 
aches in arms, hands, and legs. In many 
ways, she is still very fit and strong. 
We really thank the Lord for her. 

Romans 8:28: And we know that 
God causes all things to work together 
for good to those who love God, to 
those who are called according to His 
purpose. I love this verse because on 
countless occasions, I find it so true. 
God loves each one of us. Many times 
when a certain thing happens, we 
often wonder why it is so. We do not 
understand why it has to happen. Only 
when it turns out to be a blessing in 
disguise do we realize God is in charge 
of all things. 

On April 26, as I was sleeping (I was 
on night duty), suddenly there was an 
electricity cut at 12 noon. I woke up 
feeling very hot. Since I couldn't sleep 
due to the heat, I got up. It was a good 
day with bright sunshine. Within ten 
minutes, the sky became cloudy and 
darkened. Soon it started to rain. I am 
so thankful that God brought rain to 
cool down the surroundings, so I was 
able to sleep from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. And 
the electricity was put back on at 5 
p.m. Isn't God great! 

We are very short of manpower in 
the mission field. As both David Chew 
and David Loi are getting on in years, 
(continued on page 4) 



When the Executive Board of the 
WMS met May 6, one of the items of 
business was to choose books for you to 
read this next year. The usual process 
is for several ladies to read a variety of 
books and make their comments; the 
best of their choices are recommended 
to the WMS officers. From perhaps 15- 
20 choices, the following seven are sug- 
gested to you. The goal is for each 
member to read two books; however, 
you and I know that if we can read 
more than the minimum, we will be 
benefited more. 

The resume of each book is given by 
Kathleen Mack, literature secretary. 

Books will be available at General 

HEARTBEAT by Jill Briscoe; $6.50. 

Beautiful selections of Jill Briscoe's 
own poems, prayers, and richly worded 
meditations will enrich and inspire 
your devotional life. Come — celebrate 
the heartbeat of life! Mrs. Briscoe will 
be the WMS luncheon speaker and will 
autograph her books. 

by Dee Brestin; $8.50. 

Dee will make you cry and laugh as 
she takes a close look at the power and 
pain in female relationships. 

ROW by Janette Oke; $8.50. 

There were moments when she 
wished she were an only child, that 
her mother had never blessed her with 
a baby sister — like Glenna, but the day 
will come when Berta must look into 
her heart and discover what truly 
makes the distance between them. 

BRUCHKO by Bruce Olson; $8.50. 

This remarkable account of Bruce 
Olson and his adventure in the jungles 
of South America is one of the most 
significant missionary stories of our 
generation. This is a highly recom- 
mended book on missions. 

ESAU by James R. Shott; $6.50. 

Esau has a reputation for being the 
gullible, violent victim of his brother 
Jacob, who stole Esau's birthright. Or 
was he, as this dramatic novel sug- 
gests, considerably more complex? 

THE SAVIOR by Max Lucado; $11.50. 

It all comes down to one thing: 
"When your life feels hollow, what can 
fill it with meaning? If someone asks 
(continued on page 4) 

Mark and Chantal Logan will leave 
in August for missionary service in Af- 
rica. This summer they attended the 
Philadelphia training school and were 
commissioned by the Bethlehem (VA) 
Brethren Church. They will serve with 
the Eastern Mennonite Mission with 
assistance from the Brethren Mission- 
ary Board. Pray for their adjustment 
and ministry. 

Dave and Diane Kerner returned to 
the States in June, concluding their 
missionary service in Colombia, South 
America. Dave plans to attend gradu- 
ate school. Their temporary address is 
with Diane's family: c/o CLeary, 4308 
20th Street, Rockford, Illinois 61109. 

Tim and Jan Eagle concluded their 
2-year term in Mexico City. Pray for 
God's guidance in their future plans. 

Todd and Tracy Ruggles will be on a 
3-month furlough, which includes Gen- 
eral Conference. They will return to 
Mexico City in the fall. 

Juan Carlos and Maria Miranda are 
the July missionaries-of-the-month. 
Juan serves part-time as director of 
Latin American ministries and Maria's 
radio program, "Para Ti Mujer," con- 
tinues to minister to 23 Spanish- 
speaking nations. The radio program 
is supported by Fuller Evangelistic 
Association and offerings from The 
Brethren Church. Your gift may be 
sent to the Missionary Board of the 
Brethren Church, 524 College Avenue, 
Ashland, OH 44805, and designated 
for Maria's radio ministry. 

The August missionaries are Daniel 
and Kathy Rosales, pastoring the 
Spanish congregation in Sarasota, 
Florida. This spring Daniel held a 
series of evangelistic outreach services 
in Colombia. First-time commitments 
and reconsecrations totaled 91! 

Continue prayers and encourage- 
ment notes to those involved in the 
STAKE program in Florida. 

Frequently we don't know how to 
pray for our missionary friends. Just 
pray, and let the Holy Spirit do the 


— The alumni of Riverside Chris- 
tian School are planning an auction of 
items for their Homecoming weekend 
October 21. You are invited to partici- 
pate by sending your contributions to 
Riverside Christian School, Lost Creek, 
KY 41348, and mark it for the Alumni 

— Reports of your society's activities 
may be sent to me anytime. This is one 
responsibility of the corresponding sec- 

— Please do not send your offerings 
directly to Ashland Theological Sem- 
inary. This fouls up the bookkeeping! 
Like all offerings, the Seminary offer- 
ing should be sent to Joanne Kroft, 608 
Twp. Rd. 1151, RD 5, Ashland, OH 
44805. She will record your society's gift 
and then process it properly to ATS. 

— One item of business at Confer- 
ence is consideration of Constitution 
revisions. Bring your suggestions with 

— The national project offerings will 
help to pay the tuition costs for the 
Malaysian men in seminary training. 
Read Jenny Loi's letter. This is the 
second year for the project; the total 
goal is $25,000. 

— Pray for the General Conference 
and the auxiliaries, officers, leaders, 
travelers, and weather. 

— The thank-offerings are desig- 
nated for world and home missions, 
Riverside Christian School, Campus 
Ministry, the Seminary, and the Ash- 
land University scholarship. 

— One objective of the WMS, accord- 
ing to the Constitution, is to raise 
funds for enlarging the borders of the 
church. We have given generously. 
Think what more we can do! 


Published bimonthly in January, 
March, May, July, September, and 
November by the Woman's Missionary 
Society of The Brethren Church. 

Mrs. Dorman Ronk, Editor 
1325 Coachman Court 
Ashland, Ohio 44805 

Subscription price, $7.50 per year in 

Send all subscriptions to Mrs. Robert 
Kroft, 608 Twp. Road 1151, RD 5, Ash- 
land, OH 44805. 

Woman's Outlook Newsletter 



was one part of an inspirational dis- 
trict conference held March 11 in 
Smithville. Members and guests who 
registered totaled 33. Lois Barnhart, 
vice president, welcomed the ladies 
and explained that Patti Bub, presi- 
dent, recently moved to Michigan. 
Prior to moving, however, Patti 
planned this meeting and left her re- 
cords in good order. 

Joanne Kroft presented the devo- 
tions entitled "Pray? Why Not?" The 
following officers were elected: 
President — Wanda Powell 
Vice President — Lois Barnhart 
Secretary-Treasurer — DeAnn Oburn 
Assistant Secretary-Treasurer — 

Joanne Kroft 
Wanda's address is: 9 Oakwood, 
Beloit, OH 44609. 

The project will continue to be sup- 
port for the Medina Church. Last year, 
in addition to offerings, some ladies 
helped with the "Phones for You" cam- 
paign and in being part of the core 
group. The recommended Bible study 
will be in Psalms. 

Lois announced the fall retreat will 
be at Camp Bethany October 13-14. 
The 1996 spring rallies will be in Ash- 
land Park Street and West Alexandria. 

Viola Workman asked each member to 
write her age on a paper. This was a 
survey to see how many years of expe- 
rience and wisdom were accumulated 
in their society. Here are the results 
for the 17 members present: 5 mem- 
bers in their 80s tallied 416 years; 9 
members in their 70s grossed 632 
years; 3 young ones managed 170 
years. The grand total is 1,268 years! 
Consider the mentoring these ladies 
have accomplished, and they aren't 
finished yet! 

On the National Day of Prayer, May 
CIRCLE hosted the community prayer 
breakfast in their church. Following 
breakfast, all the community churches 
held 12-hour prayer vigils. 

The HUNTINGTON Mother and 
Daughter dinner and program were 
held at the church May 11. The dinner 
menu was cook's choice — each lady 
brought her favorite dish. Greetings 
were given by Olive Teusch and the 
response was by her daughter, Shirley 

July-August 1995 

Bruce. Helen Dickson offered the 
prayer for the meal; Ruth Keplinger 
and Wanda Armantrout awarded table 
decorations and other small gifts to 
mothers and daughters whose name 
tags carried the lucky numbers drawn. 
Nina Pressler was the grand prize 
winner. To qualify, she identified the 
most baby pictures of Brethren women. 
Some were more than 80 years old! 

Special music was given by Pat 
Lusch and her daughter, Marjorie 
Teusch; and Marcia Forrester and her 
daughters, Katie and Darcy, accompa- 
nied by Marcia's mother-in-law, 
Mildred Forrester. 

Cindi Stout of Burlington was the 
guest speaker. With her suitcase of 
items representing her life, she took 
the audience on a "Journey Through 

She began with a teddy bear from 
her childhood; then spoke of her par- 
ents' divorce; during Girl Scout camp 
at age 12, she was led to the Lord by a 
teenager. A miniature bride and groom 
represented her marriage, then a dia- 
per for her family, and a Bible, which 
she used as a textbook in raising chil- 
dren. "Make daily devotions a part of 
your life," she advised her audience. 
Cindi showed a picture album of her 
family and told of the importance of 
spending quality time with the chil- 
dren together and each child alone. 

She gave good advice to the teen- 
agers. "When you think of a boyfriend, 
list the qualities you want him to 
have. At the top should be this qualifi- 
cation: He must be a Christian who 
wants to grow spiritually. Cindi con- 
cluded by recommending that each one 
make new friends, always asking God 
to lead you. 

societies — Faith, Hope, Joy — invited 
the Garber ladies to be their guests for 
the mothers and daughters dinner on 
May 1. Shirley Black was the mistress 
of ceremonies. Janeille Ditlevson pre- 
sented awards to the oldest grand- 
mother, the youngest daughter, the new- 
est mother, the daughter who lost her 
tooth most recently, the teenager wear- 
ing what she made, and the youngest 
grandmother with her granddaughter 
present. The awards were crafted by 
Bev Summy and Laura Mae Riffle. 

Kay Schumaker, chalk artist, pre- 
sented the program "From Buds to 
Blossoms." She spoke of the buds in 
our homes — the children who will grow 

into blossoms for God under the proper 
conditions. The seed for growth is 
God's Word, watered with prayer. 
Pruning is the process God uses to 
draw us closer to Him; we need God's 
strength in our lives. 

With appropriate taped music, Kay 
drew a beautiful pastoral scene re- 
minding us of Psalm 23 "by the still 
waters." Then, with black light, the 
face of Jesus was illuminated, showing 
Him as the Good Shepherd. 

The ladies of the LOUISVILLE 
tained 50 ladies for the Northeast 
Ohio Spring Rally April 1. It was re- 
ally an April Foolish day — snow flur- 
ries outside but spring-like inside. We 
were color-coordinated for the day. The 
pastel checked flowers on the name 
tags matched the table decorations 
and favors for lunch. "All the Children 
of the World" was the theme for the 

Betty Brown, director of the Stark 
County Pregnancy Support Center, 
gave an enlightening report of that 
Center's activities. Mrs. Brown is a 
strong, positive, Christian lady and 
that is the foundation for the Support 
Center. They offer each client emo- 
tional, spiritual, and material support. 
They strive for prevention, interven- 
tion, and reconciliation. 

Their preventive educational teams 
are high school and college-age stu- 
dents who present programs in middle 
schools. Mrs. Brown knew this pro- 
gram has helped to reduce the number 
of clients from the peak of 1,800 in one 
year to 1,500 the following year. 

Other activities of the Support Cen- 
ter include the shepherding homes and 
post-abortion counseling and education 
(PEACE) programs. They are objectives 
toward the goal of developing women 
to be what God wants them to be. 

Karen Moran, president, welcomed 
the ladies; special music during the 
day was given by the ladies ensemble 
and a solo, "Through the Eyes of a 
Child," was sung by Elaine Kerkstetter. 

Wanda Powell, the Ohio president, 
received the project offering, which is 
assistance for the Medina Church. 
When the representative from each 
society gave the offering, she reported 
some of their activities during the 
year. These included: Guidepost sub- 
scriptions for shut-ins; mitten and sock 
tree for Lost Creek; serving the men 
(continued on page 4) 



In the WMS directory (January- 
February 1995), please correct the zip 
code for Joan Merrill. It should be 

Phyllis Meyer, the Wabash, Indiana, 
president, lives at 5866 W. 200 S, Lot 
30, Wabash 46992. 

The President's Pen (continued) 
to mend it. When I found people dis- 
tressed and hungry, I took them in, 
comforted them, and fed them." When 
they finally inquired, "What does this 
mean? Why are you doing this for us?" 
the missionary had his chance, and he 
preached the gospel! When asked if he 
succeeded, he replied, "When I returned 
home on furlough, I left a church." 

Isn't that an exciting story! Ephesians 
2:8-9 makes it clear that our own poor 
human efforts can never save us. We 
need to keep close to the Lord and He 
will always be there to guide us and 
help us. Read Titus 3:8 and then ask 
yourself, "How well do I witness by my 

For most of you, by the time you 
read this, plans will be nearly com- 
pleted for conference in Ashland and, 
in your society, you will be planning 
for a new year in your WM§ groups. I 
trust you are all looking forward to do- 
ing something exciting and worthwhile 
in your WMS group. 

God Bless You, 
Shirley Black 

District Doings (continued) 
and boys dinner; meeting at Brethren 
Care in Ashland and serving ice cream 
cones for refreshments; making and 
selling apple dumplings and vegetable 
soup; sending gifts to Kerners; helping 
with the "Phones for You" in Medina; 
white elephant and garage sales; sup- 
porting a Campus Crusade worker; 
making crafts for the Riverside School 
auction in October; providing supplies 
in a pregnancy center; adopt-a-family; 
financial support for an Indian pastor 
and children in the orphanage; contri- 
butions to a home for the blind, Salva- 
tion Army and Associated Charities; 
giving bingo prizes for Brethren Care; 
exchanging Christmas ornaments; 
sending recipes, magazines, and books 
to the Ruggles and Eagles in Mexico 
City; bake/make and exchange love 
gifts; and secret sisters. 

One special feature was exchanging 
prayer requests. Special forms "I ask 
your prayers for" were received before 
lunch and distributed after lunch. 

An Update 
From Malaysia 


we desperately need young people to 
help in the mission work and to take 
over the field eventually. We have two 
youths who had dedicated themselves 
to the Lord a couple of years ago. We 
pray that they still have this call to the 
ministry. It is hoped that they will be 
able to enroll in the Singapore Bible 
College or Malaysia Bible Seminary. 

As such, we need the funds to pre- 
pare them for the ministry. We are 
very grateful that the Woman's Mis- 
sionary Society is taking up the chal- 
lenge as a project to raise funds to 
meet this need. 

We would like to take this opportu- 
nity to thank each one of you for your 
continual support of our ministry here. 
God bless each one of you and He 
will surely reward you all. 

Sincerely in His Service, 
Jenny Loi 
Brethren Mission 
2-B Ronggeng 2 
Taman Skudai Baru 
Skudai, Johor 81300 

Reading Circle Books 


you "What makes Christianity differ- 
ent from any other religion?', how 
could you answer? When you need re- 
assurance that someone deeply loves 
you, where can you run?" 

by Beverly Malz; $7.50. 

Betty Malz shares prayer experi- 
ences — her own, her family's, and her 
friends — some spectacular, some not 
so spectacular. But each one unique, 
and with the same underlying theme, 
there is power in prayer. 

%i Tutor's hiding 

Dear Friend, 

Recently our Share Group studied 
John 15, one section in which Jesus 
was preparing the disciples to continue 
His ministry. The verse "I am the vine, 
you are the branches" is familiar — it's 
part of the ten "I Am" verses in John. 
In the second portion, Jesus talked di- 
rectly to the disciples, but it lays lots 
of responsibility on us, too, as Jesus' 
followers. We are the branches. We are 
to bear fruit. 

We see the linkage of the vine, the 

branch, the fruit. So, what kind of fruit 
do we bear? 

In my garden, when I plant onion 
sets, I expect onions; tiny beans will 
produce green beans; and corn — lots of 
it! However, I can't plant radishes and 
harvest rhubarb, nor lettuce and cut 
broccoli. This spring Dorman planted 
grapevines. We expect grapes (I wish 
for strawberries, too). 

Neither can I sow bad habits/wild 
oats and expect to yield a good reputa- 
tion. Nor will hate, prejudice, lying, 
envy, and strife produce the desired 
fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, 
patience, kindness, goodness, faithful- 
ness, gentleness, and self-control. 

Because we are Christ's branches, we 
will be pruned. Dead branches are cut 
off and discarded; other branches may 
be cut back to encourage more growth. 
Pruning is God's way of holding us close, 
to be better nourished and strength- 
ened for more and better service. 

And there may be cute little furry 
bunnies eating the early growth, or 
Satan's wily attempts to discourage 
and destroy your efforts. 

Since it is the responsibility of the 
branch to bear fruit, it has to be nour- 
ished. Proper soil and drainage are im- 
portant. Our nourishment, as Christ's 
branches, comes from our feeding on 
God's Word and being saturated in 

Weeds in my garden have to be dealt 
with. Sometimes weed killer is neces- 
sary. At least weeds have to be dis- 
carded or the roots can wiggle back 
into the soil or the dry seeds will blow 
and reproduce. Similarly, criticism, 
false accusations, and evil thoughts 
have to be destroyed; apologies, confes- 
sion, and forgiveness will cleanse the 
sinful nature of our minds. 

This summer, after weeding, prun- 
ing, and harvesting, enjoy the produce 
of your garden. And think on these 
things: whatever is true, noble, right, 
pure, lovely, and admirable. And the 
God of peace will be with you (Phil. 
4:8, 10). 

I hope this issue gives you some 
ideas for your society for next year. In 
return, share your efforts this year 
with others. 

Look for some changes in the 
Woman's Outlook Newsletter this fall, 
but we'll still keep the yellow paper. 

Your friend, 

Woman's Outlook Newsletter 

General Conference Preview 

Conference Highlights 

The 107th General Conference of The Brethren Church 
August 7-1 1 at Ashland University 

Opening Celebration and 
Moderator's Address 

The opening celebration of General Conference 
will get off to a festive start at 6:30 on Monday 
evening, August 7, with a parade of banners. Local 
Brethren congregations are invited to bring a cele- 
brative worship banner to Conference and to par- 
ticipate in the pageantry.* 

The celebration will feature a message by the 
Conference moderator, Rev. Reilly Smith. Rev. 
Smith, who also will preside 
over Conference business 
sessions, became Executive 
Director of the Missionary 
Board of the Brethren 
Church June 1, 1995. Prior to 
this, he served for ten years 
as pastor of The Brethren 
Church at Mulvane, Kans. A 
1985 graduate (Master of 
Divinity degree) of Ashland 
Theological Seminary, Rev. 
Smith is married to the for- 
mer Cynthia K. Hall. They Moderator Reilly Smith 

have four children ranging in age from 21 to 10. 

Also included in the service will be a welcome by 
Rev. Ronald W. Waters, Director of Brethren 
Church Ministries; greetings from the Brethren 
Youth In Christ by BYIC Steering Committee 
member Chad Geaslen; a music and mime presen- 
tation by a mime troop from the Northgate Com- 
munity Brethren Church of Manteca, Calif.; and 
special music by Reveille, a singing group from the 
Ashland Park Street Brethren Church. Rev. Roger 
Stogsdill, pastor of the Northgate Church, will 
serve as worship leader for the celebration. 

Tuesday and Wednesday Evenings 

Rev. William M. Easum, church growth consult- 
ant and former pastor, will speak at the evening 
services on Tuesday and Wednesday. He will also 
present a seminar Wednesday morning on "Equip- 
ping the Laity for Ministry." A picture and more 
information about Rev. Easum appeared in the 
June Evangelist. 

'Congregations planning to participate in the parade of 
banners are asked to send a card — stating the approximate 
size of the banner and whether or not it will be mounted on 
a vertical staff — to Banners, 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 
44805. Participants should bring their banners to the Dis- 
play Room at 5:15 p.m. on Monday for instructions. It is 
hoped that banners can be displayed in the Conference hall 
throughout the week. 

The Evangelism and Church Growth Commis- 
sion will be leading the Tuesday evening service. In 
addition to the message by Rev. Easum, the service 
will include a skit highlighting the Andrews Center. 

Ashland Theological Seminary will be in charge 
of the service Wednesday evening. The program will 
feature vocal music by the seminary choir and in- 
strumental music by ATS Professor Ronald Sprunger 
and his wife Linda, whose talents are well-known 
to past Conference attenders. The seminary also 
plans to introduce two of its new students, K. Sud- 
hir Kumar from India, son of Brethren missionar- 
ies K. Prasanth and Nirmala Kumar; and Eduardo 
Rodriguez, Jr., son of an Argentine Brethren pastor. 

W.M.S. and Soup Supper Speaker 

Mrs. Jill Briscoe, well-known author and speaker, 
will present two messages on Wednesday of Con- 
ference week. Women will 
have an opportunity to hear 
Mrs. Briscoe during the 
Women's Luncheon at noon 
that day, and both men and 
women can hear her during 
the World Relief Soup Sup- 
per at 5:00 that afternoon. 
Author, speaker, editor, pas- 
tor's wife, mother to three 
children and grandmother 
to nine, she leads a very full 
and busy life. She also serves 
on the Board of Directors for Mrs ' JiU Briscoe 

World Relief of the National Association of Evan- 
gelicals and has traveled to various parts of the 
world to see World Reliefs work first-hand. 

Missions Night 

Thursday evening will be missions night at Con- 
ference, with a Missionary Board Buffet at 5:00 (to 
be held in the new Family 
Life Center at Park Street 
Brethren Church), followed 
by a missions emphasis dur- 
ing the 7:00 evening service. 
Speaking at this service will 
be Brethren missionary Rev. 
David Kerner. Rev. Kerner 
and his wife Diane served for 
nine years as missionaries 
in Colombia, South America. 
They concluded their work 

in Bogota, Colombia, in May, 
Rev. David Kerner and Rey> Kerner hag been 

July/August 1995 


accepted in a doctoral program in missions at Trin- 
ity Evangelical Divinity School. 

The service will also feature special music by 
Miguel and Sonia Antunez, Brethren missionaries 
in their homeland of Peru; prayers by Tracy and 
Todd Ruggles, Brethren missionaries to Mexico City; 
and greetings from other Brethren missionaries. 

The Conference will conclude with a session at 
10:30 on Friday morning that will feature a report 
from the youth of the BYIC Convention. In recent 
years, this has proven to be one of the high points 
of Conference week. The session will conclude with 
a challenge by incoming moderator Dr. Richard 
Allison, launching the new Conference year. [ft] 

Conference Business 

The General Conference Executive Council (GCEC) has no 
major business items to present for Conference action. Discus- 
sions on denominational reorganization are continuing, and a 
presentation on this subject will be made during one of the busi- 
ness sessions. No proposal has yet emerged on the baptism study 
authorized by the 1994 General Conference. A proposal will be 
coming from the western Brethren churches to hold General Con- 
ference near Estes Park, Colorado, in the year 2000. Elections 
will be held during the Tuesday afternoon business session. 

Nominees for General Conference 
Executive Council 

The General Conference Nominating Committee, chaired by 
Rev. Glenn Grumbling, has prepared the following slate of nomi- 
nees for the General Conference Executive Council. Delegates 
may make nominations from the floor. Persons so nominated 
must have given prior consent to serve if elected. 


G. Emery Hurd is pastor of the Cheyenne, Wyo., Brethren 
Church. He holds a bachelor's degree from Ashland University 
and both master of arts and master of divinity degrees from Ash- 
land Theological Seminary. In his community he has served as 
president of the association of evangelicals, executive secretary of 
Cheyenne Citizens for Decency, chaplain of the county sheriffs 
department, and executive secretary of the Wyoming Billy Gra- 
ham Crusade. Denominationally, he is a member of the Evangel- 
ism & Church Growth Commission and chaired the former Social 
Responsibilities Commission. He and his wife Susan have two 
children at home. 

John Shultz is professor of pastoral counseling at Ashland 
Theological Seminary and chairs the Christian ministries depart- 
ment. He also operates a private counseling practice in Ashland. 
Shultz holds a bachelor's degree from Ashland University, a mas- 
ter of divinity degree from Ashland Theological Seminary, and a 
Ph.D. from Purdue University. He pastored the Tiosa, Ind., Breth- 
ren Church prior to joining the seminary faculty. He is a former 
member of GCEC and is the statutory agent for The Brethren 
Church, Inc. He and his wife Jeannie have two grown children. 

GCEC Member at Large (one to be elected) 

Mark Britton currently serves as a GCEC member at large. 
He is pastor of the Derby, Kans., First Brethren Church. He is 
past moderator of the Midwest District and served on the former 
Church Relations Commission. 

Susie Black is a member of the College Corner Brethren 
Church near Wabash, Ind. She has served on district and national 

Mitchell Funkhouser is pastor of the Warsaw, Ind., First 
Brethren Church and formerly served as national youth director 
for the Board of Christian Education of The Brethren Church. 

Ronald L. Waters is pastor of the Hammond Avenue Breth- 
ren Church, Waterloo, Iowa. He has served as moderator of the 
Ohio, Indiana, and Central Districts. He is also a Passing On the 
Promise congregational advisor. 

Gerald Zook is pastor of the Tiosa, Ind., Brethren Church and 

formerly served several other Brethren congregations. Before en- 
tering the pastorate, he was a mechanic and metal fabricator. 

GCEC East Region Representative (Florida and 
Southeastern Districts) (one to be elected) 

Gerald Barr is pastor of the Hagerstown, Md., First Brethren 
Church. He is secretary-treasurer of the National Association of 
Brethren Church Elders and is a member of the Southeastern 
District Mission Board. 

Richard Craver is pastor of the Maurertown, Va., Brethren 
Church. He is assistant secretary-treasurer of the National Asso- 
ciation of Brethren Church Elders and is a member of the South- 
eastern District Board of Spiritual Overseers. 

Tina Ross is a member of the Bloomingdale Brethren Church, 
Valrico, Fla. A registered nurse, she chairs her local church's 
worship ministry and is a Passing On the Promise (POtP) congre- 
gational advisor. 

GCEC Mideast Region Representative (Ohio and 
Pennsylvania Districts) (one to be elected) 

Brenda B. Colijn is completing her first term as the Mideast 
Regional Representative. A member of and deacon in the Smoky 
Row Brethren Church, Worthington, Ohio, she chair's GCEC's 
Committee on Doctrine, Research, and Publication. She is an 
adjunct instructor at Ashland Theological Seminary. 

Bill Hesketh is a member, deacon, and teacher in the Pleasant 
View Brethren Church, Vandergrift, Pa. Before retiring, he 
worked for Alcoa Corporation. He has been a Pennsylvania Dis- 
trict youth advisor and was a member of the former national 
Board of Christian Education. 

Curt Nies is pastor of the Masontown, Pa., Brethren Church. 
He currently serves on the Pennsylvania District Mission Board 
and leads the Pennsylvania District Elders organization. 

Jim Rowsey is pastor of the Smithville, Ohio, Brethren 
Church. He is a past moderator of the Ohio Conference and for- 
merly served on the national Board of Christian Education and on 
the Brethren Publishing Company Board. 

Nominees for Brethren Church 
Ministries Commissions 

The General Conference Executive Council (GCEC) has se- 
lected the following persons for nomination to serve on Brethren 
Church Ministries commissions for 1995-96. 

Spiritual Formation Commission 

Brian Moore has been renominated to chair this commission. 
He has been pastor of the St. James, Md., Brethren Church since 
1983. He has served on this commission since its formation in 
1992. He completed his Doctor of Ministry degree at Ashland 
Theological Seminary in May. 

Nominated for the four member positions are: 

Fred Brandon, pastor of the North Georgetown, Ohio, First 

Brethren Church, has completed one year on this commission. 
Carolyn Cooksey, librarian at Ashland University and a member 

of the Ashland Park Street Brethren Church, has been a member 

of this commission since 1992. (continued on next page) 


The Brethren Evangelist 

Jerry Flora is a professor at Ashland Theological Seminary, 
where he teaches courses in spiritual formation. He has been a 
member of the commission since 1992 and is a member of Park 
Street Brethren Church. 

Marlin McCann, pastor of North Manchester, Ind., First 
Brethren Church, has served four times as spiritual director for 
Brethren Way of Christ weekends. 

Susan Mercer is a homemaker, substitute teacher, and mem- 
ber of the Gretna (Bellefontaine, Ohio) Brethren Church, where 
she has been involved in the prayer chain, prayer groups, and 
Moms in Touch — mothers who meet weekly to pray for their 
children and their schools. 

Evangelism & Church Growth Commission 

Cindy Smith is being renominated to chair this commission 
and has served on the commission since 1993. Before relocating 
to Ashland this spring, she was an occupational therapist at St. 
Joseph Medical Center in Wichita, Kans., and was actively in- 
volved with Passing On the Promise (POtP) at the Mulvane Church. 

Nominated for the four member positions are: 

Cheryl Ennis, a POtP congregational co-coordinator for the 
Ardmore First Brethren Church, South Bend, Ind., and a congre- 
gational advisor for another POtP congregation, has been a mem- 
ber and secretary of the commission since 1994. She is a legal 
secretary by profession. 

G. Emery Hurd is pastor of the Cheyenne, Wyo., Brethren 
Church and has been a member of this commission since 1994. 
He also was state executive secretary for the Wyoming Billy 
Graham Crusade. 

Pat Gravatt is a POtP congregational co-coordinator for the 
Mt. Olive Brethren Church, McGaheysville, Va. She is a business 
consultant and a former bank vice president. 

Ronald E. Miller, Sr., a POtP congregational co-coordinator 
and assistant pastor for Linwood, Md., Brethren Church, will 
become a student at Ashland Theological Seminary this fall. He 
has served on numerous outreach committees in the church. 

Tina Ross is a member and POtP congregational advisor at the 
Bloomingdale Brethren Church, Valrico, Fla. A registered nurse, she 
moved to Florida from Berlin, Pa., as a home missions tentmaker. 

Cheryl Schmiedt, a POtP congregational co-coordinator at 

Northgate Community Brethren Church, Manteca, Calif., works 
with her husband managing an almond farm. She has also been 
active as district secretary and in local church music, worship, 
and children's ministries. 

Leadership Development Commission 

Mary Ellen Drushal is renominated to chair this commission. 
She is academic dean and teaches Christian education and church 
administration at Ashland Theological Seminary. She previously 
chaired the Spiritual Formation Commission and has chaired this 
commission since 1994. 

Nominated for the four member positions are: 

Daryl A. Freeman is moderator of the Southeast Christian 
Fellowship, the Brethren church in Washington, D.C. Profession- 
ally, he is a budget analyst for the Department of Employment 
Services of the District of Columbia. 

Keith Hensley, pastor of the Pleasant View Brethren Church, 
Vandergrift, Pa., is a member of The Brethren Church POtP field 
staff. He has led his church in calling several persons into ministry. 

Ken Hunn, pastor of the Nappanee, Ind., Fust Brethren Church, 
has previously served on GCEC and was a member of the former 
Board of Christian Education. 

Ann McNerney, member of the Winding Waters Brethren 
Church, Elkhart, Ind., has served on the church's board of direc- 
tors and chaired the personnel ministry. She is president of McNerney 
& Associates, Inc., an executive search firm. 

David L. West, pastor of Northwest Brethren Chapel, Tuc- 
son, Ariz., is a member of GCEC and a former member of the 
Evangelism & Church Growth Commission. He also helped 
organize the Great Western Brethren Roundup. 

Conference delegates may nominate from the floor persons for 
these positions. Persons so nominated should have given prior 
consent to serve if elected and have indicated their ability to 
attend the two scheduled commission meetings on October 6-7, 
1995, and March 15-16, 1996, in Ashland, Ohio. 

Conference attenders arriving in Ashland early are Invited to 
attend a special service Sunday evening, August 6, at 6:00 at the 
Ashland Garber Brethren Church featuring an African-American 
men's choir from the Saint Paul United Methodist Church in Ashland. 

In Memory 

Betty Marker, 50, June 7. Member of the 
Ashland Park Street Brethren Church. Serv- 
ices by Pastor Arden Gilmer. 
Mrytle Mulhorn, 84, June 6. Member for 20 
years of the Pleasant View Brethren Church, 
where she served as W.M.S. secretary. Me- 
morial service by Pastor R. Keith Hensley. 
Theodore (Ted) R. Sarver, 82, June 5. 
Faithful member for many years of the Berlin 
Brethren Church, where he served as deacon, 
trustee, and usher. He was the father of for- 
mer Brethren missionary Kay (Kitty) Win- 
field. Services by Pastor Bryan Karchner and 
Rev. Ralph Landis. 

Edna M. Carson, 93, May 30. Member for 
more than 80 years of the Corinth Brethren 
Church, where she served as a Sunday school 
teacher for more than 60 years, as W.M.S. 
president, and custodian for 25 years or 
more. Services by Pastor Rod Schuler. 
Mary Conner, 86, May 22. Member of the 
Maurertown Brethren Church and W.M.S. 
Services by Pastor Richard Craver. 
Margaret Ems wilier, 82, May 17. Member 
for 43 years of the Maurertown Brethren 
Church, where she served as deaconess, 
treasurer, financial secretary, and W.M.S. 

member. Services by Pastor Richard Craver 
and Rev. Doc Shank. 

Barbara Purvis, 49, May 13. Member of the 
Maurertown Brethren Church. Services by 
Pastor Richard Craver. 

June Brown, 62. May 10. Member for 42 years 
and deaconess at the Ardmore First Brethren 
Church, where she served for many years as 
a Sunday school teacher and director for 
V.B.S. She also served on the Indiana Dis- 
trict Board of Christian Education. Services 
by Pastor William Shipman. 

Robert Cook, 60, May 2. Member of the 
Corinth Brethren Church. Services by Pastor 
Rod Schuler. 

Orville Vandermark, 81, April 29. Member 
of the North Manchester First Brethren 
Church, where he served as trustee, Sunday 
school teacher and superintendent, chorister, 
and choir member. Services by Pastors Mar- 
lin McCann and Woodrow Immel. 

Bertha Shireman, 87, April 17. Active 
member of the North Manchester First Breth- 
ren Church and Builders Class. 
Innes Frey, 95, April 13. Member and dea- 
coness of the North Manchester First Breth- 
ren Church, W.M.S., and Volunteer Class. 
Services by Pastor Marlin McCann. 

Nicole Horner, 21, April 13. Member of the 
Fairless Hills-Levittown Church. Services by 
Christopher Diehl, youth pastor, assisted by 
Pastor C. William Cole. (Nicole was killed in 
an automobile accident; eight of her organs 
were donated to others. This was Youth Pas- 
tor Diehl 's first funeral. He was to have offi- 
ciated at Nicole's wedding in May.) 
Gladys Grindle, 81, April 4. Member of the 
North Manchester First Brethren Church and 
of the Builders Class; served as church cook 
for dinners. Services by Pastor Marlin McCann. 


Larry and Martha Loveless, 50th, August 
24. Members of the Lousiville First Brethren 

Membership Growth 

Goshen: 3 by transfer 

Corinth: 2 by baptism 

Garber: 12 by baptism 

Bethlehem: 4 by baptism 

Bryan: 8 by baptism, 1 by transfer, 

3 by testimony 

Park Street: 24 by baptism, 15 by transfer 

Note: The report of weddings is on page 19. 

July/August 1995 




Brethren From Western U.S. Assemble 
For Great Western Brethren Roundup 

Reported by Ronald W. Waters 

Estes Park, Colo. — A first-of-its-kind 
event was held June 23-25 when repre- 
sentatives from the isolated Brethren 
churches in the western United States 
gathered near Estes Park, Colorado, for 
the Great Western Brethren Roundup. 

The purpose of the event was for 
Brethren people from far-flung parts of 
the western U.S. to share common con- 
cerns, identify ways to support one an- 
other in ministry, get acquainted with 
other Brethren from the region, and 
worship the Lord in the beauty of his 
creation. Attendance for the Roundup 
was 120 and included singles, couples, 
and families, with ages ranging from 
infants to senior saints. 

The Roundup was held at Long's Peak 
Conference Center near Rocky Moun- 
tain National Park. The grandeur of the 
mountains provided a fitting backdrop 
for recognizing God's sovereignty and 

Members of seven of the nine Breth- 
ren churches in the Midwest, South- 
west, and Northern California districts 
were joined by denominational leaders 
and other persons interested in partici- 
pating in the unique event. 

During the closing worship celebra- 
tion, Rev. David West, one of the Round- 
up coordinators and pastor of North- 
west Brethren Chapel in Tucson, Ariz., 
summed up the gathering as follows: 
"This event is historic not just because 
it hasn't happened before. It has signifi- 
cance because we've come to know peo- 

ple we haven't known before. ... It also 
has significance because of what God 
has done and will do in the future as a 
result of this meeting." 

Pastors of churches in the western 
region held retreats in January 1994 
and 1995 to develop closer relationships 

among western Brethren for the expan- 
sion of the Kingdom of God." Objectives 
necessary to fulfill that vision include 
church planting, leadership develop- 

Times of worship celebration were an 
gathering of western Brethren. 

and identify a common direction. The 
Great Western Brethren Roundup was 
one result of those gatherings. 

A second result was a vision state- 
ment: "to develop cooperative ministry 

During one of the small-group sessions, this group chose to meet outside in the cool 

mountain air. Photo by Norman Tucker. 


important part of this first-of-its-kind 

Photo by Ron Waters. 

ment, cooperation, and communication. 
Under church planting, the leaders set 
a goal of starting eleven new churches 
in the West by the year 2000. 

Worship celebrations on Friday eve- 
ning and Sunday morning were led by a 
praise and worship team of persons 
from the Tucson First, Northwest 
Chapel, and Northgate Community con- 
gregations. On Friday evening, Rev. Bill 
Brady, pastor at Tucson First Church, 
related a story about alligator wrestling 
to David's encounter with Goliath. He 
identified two giants faced by western 
Brethren: the distance separating the 
congregations and that the western part 
of the United States is one of the most 
difficult areas in which to evangelize. 
He challenged Roundup participants to 
rally around a common vision for plant- 
ing new churches and reaching the lost. 

During Saturday morning devotions, 
Rev. Randy Best, pastor at Stockton, 
California, used Jeremiah 33:3 as a chal- 
lenge to seek God's leading. "God has 
(continued on next page) 

The Brethren Evangelist 


Ashland Seminary Honors Dr. Richard Allison 
With Distinguished Christian Service Award 

Ashland, Ohio — Dr. Richard Allison, 
professor of Christian education at Ash- 
land Theological Seminary, was pre- 
sented the Distinguished Christian 
Service Award by the seminary at its 
commencement ceremony on May 27. 

Dr. Allison also delivered the address 
at the commencement ceremony. He 
gave the graduates three keys for suc- 
cessfully navigating the road of life: for- 
get the past, stretch forward to the fu- 
ture, and keep your eyes on the prize. 
He left the graduates with a challenge 
to "Embrace the will of God, obey the 
call of God, receive the power of God, 
and reflect the peace of God." 

Dr. Allison was presented the Distin- 
guished Christian Service Award prior 

to his ad- 
dress, and 
at that time 
he was also 
honored as 
the semi- 
nary's Out- 
for 1995. 
Dr. Allison 
(65), who 
will be 
into semi- 
this year, was recognized for his 21 
years of service at the seminary. At the 

Dr. Richard Allison 

seminary he has been a leader in the 
field of Christian education, and he also 
provided strong leadership for the Doc- 
tor of Ministry program, for which he 
served as director from 1980 to 1994. 

A 1961 graduate of the seminary, Dr. 
Allison served as a Brethren pastor be- 
fore joining the ATS faculty in 1974. He 
pastored successively the Wayne Heights 
(Waynesboro, Pa.), Goshen (Ind.) First, 
and Jefferson (Goshen, Ind.) Brethren 
Churches. During his 34 years of full- 
time Christian service, he has been an 
active leader in The Brethren Church, 
serving on various district and denomi- 
national boards and committees. He was 
General Conference moderator in 1969 
and is the current moderator-elect. 

Dr. Allison is married to the former 
Emily Anne Heide, and they have four 
grown sons, David, Raymond, James, 
and John. John is currently a student at 
Ashland Theological Seminary. 

Great Western Roundup 

(continued from previous page) 
called us to the mountain to hear from 
Him," he said. He announced the forma- 
tion of a new congregation — Hope Breth- 
ren Fellowship — that will begin meet- 
ing Sunday evening, July 9, in the 
Stockton building. The congregation will 
be the first Brethren congregation min- 
istering primarily to Filipino Americans. 
Best also expressed a desire to see more 
Calebs (senior saints) and Deborahs 
(women) accepting challenging visions 
and taking leadership in the church. 

Emery Hurd presented a proposal to 
hold General Conference in the year 
2000 in Estes Park. He cited the need 
for The Brethren Church to expand its 
vision and its geographical boundaries 
and said that holding Conference in the 
West would send a clear signal of the 
church's resolve for Brethren involve- 
ment in extending God's kingdom 
throughout the nation. The proposal re- 
ceived overwhelming support from 
Roundup participants. 

The remainder of Saturday morning 
was devoted to small-group discussions 
coordinated by Tom Saunders. Groups 
were formed to include persons from 
various churches. One group was formed 
among youth attending the Roundup 
and another included pastors and 
spouses. Among other things, groups 
were asked to identify three directions 
they see God leading Brethren in the 
West and the three most pressing issues 
facing the churches. Each group re- 
ported its findings to the gathered body. 

An afternoon of free time for sightsee- 
ing was followed by a barbecue. Though 
rain forced the event inside, partici- 
pants used it as an opportunity to be- 

July/August 1995 

come better acquainted with one an- 
other. The barbecue featured live enter- 
tainment by a country western trio, ice- 
breaker activities led by Emery Hurd, 
and a campfire featuring Pastor Mark 
Britton of the Derby, Kans., Church. 
Britton invited participants to continu- 
ally ask the question "Why not?" when 
faced with challenging opportunities. 

A tub of money ($1,522) was given for a 
future joint ministry in the western region. 

After a group photo session on Sun- 
day morning, Dr. Fred Finks of Ashland 
Theological Seminary led a Bible study 
focusing on God in scripture as a search- 
ing God. He used the four objectives of 
the pastoral leaders as an outline for 
looking at the Apostle Paul's ministry in 
the Book of the Acts. He called attention 
to the unity of purpose and vision that 
was developing among both pastors and 
lay members of the western Brethren 
churches, a unity that was being further 
developed by the Roundup. 

As part of the closing worship service, 
Rev. David West used the life of Moses 
as an example for a visionary people. 
From Exodus 3 — 4 and 13, he noted that 
God used Moses' staff and outstretched 
arm, first, as a testimony to Moses of 

God's call to leadership; and, second, to 
the Israelites. West noted a significant 
transition in Exodus 17:9 — that Moses 
identified it as "the staff of God in my 
hand." This demonstrated Moses' recog- 
nition of God's leading role. West also 
called for a move beyond token prayer 
to investing time in extended, corporate 
prayer for God to accomplish His will. 

West concluded by calling for a vision 
for "reaching people who will die need- 
lessly in their sins" without hearing the 
saving good news. From the account in 
1 Samuel 17, he noted that David "ran 
quickly toward the battle lines to meet 
Goliath. He saw no fear in the man 
standing before him and took the first 
shot. . . . We need to run toward the 
vision and not away from it," he said. 

Through the experiences of the week- 
end gathering, it became evident that 
the participants had embraced the vi- 
sion of their pastors. Participants were 
enthusiastic about opportunities for 
outreach and church planting before 
them. They demonstrated that resolve 
by giving an offering of $1,522 for some 
joint ministry yet to be identified. Also, 
a consensus developed for formation of 
a joint task force among the districts to 
give direction to the objectives identi- 
fied by the pastors, particularly related 
to church planting. 

Dr. Dale Stoffer, professor at Ashland 
Theological Seminary, who attended 
the Roundup, commented, The western 
Brethren have put aside their smallness 
as an excuse and are now using it as a 
means of motivation." 

Brethren from the eastern part of the 
United States would do well to embrace 
a similar resolve for expanded outreach 
and church planting ministries. 



Being Sent to Siberia Has New Meaning 
For Brethren Missionary Janet Solomon 


I : 
J 3 

The following article about Janet 
Solomon, written by Bonnie Bihtto Klein- 
man, appeared in the June 7 edition of 
the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News and is 
reprinted here with the permission of 
that newspaper. Mrs. Solomon is a for- 
mer Brethren missionary to Argentina 
and Colombia, South America. 

DAYTON Christian Schools teacher 
Janet Solomon reached across 14 
time zones to share her passion for Chris- 
tian ethics with Russian school admin- 
istrators who are attempting to set up a 
Christian curriculum in their country. 

The Beavercreek woman set off for 
Siberia as part of the CoMission, a 
group of more than 80 religious organi- 
zations invited by Russian officials to 
help the former Soviet Union rebuild its 
moral structure. 

After 70 years of atheism, the Rus- 
sian Ministry of Education believes 
there is a moral and spiritual crisis 
among the Russian people, Solomon said. 

Solomon said she was moved by the 
educators' pleas. She was also encour- 
aged by her husband, Tim, and children, 
Lisa, 10, and Stephen, 7, to make the 
19-day trip to Russia. 

"I believe in what she's doing," said 
Tim Solomon, who manages the Bethel 
Bookstore in Beavercreek. "It was actu- 
ally good for our family. The children 
took an interest in a dot on the map on 
the other side of the world, and I im- 
proved my laundry skills." 

Rev. Russell Gordon Resigns 
Position with Mission Board 

Ashland, Ohio — Rev. Russell Gordon 
has submitted his resignation as Direc- 
tor of U.S. 
Ministries and 
Church Growth 
with the 
Board of the 
Church, effec- 
tive October 1 
of this year, 
to accept a call 
to pastor The 
Brethren Church at New Lebanon, Ohio. 
Rev. Gordon has served with the Mis- 
sionary Board since July 1, 1989. Prior 
to that he pastored Brethren churches 
in Bradenton, Fla.; Fort Scott, Kans.; 
and Williamstown, Ohio. 

Solomon values moral education for 
her own children and for her students at 
the Xenia campus of Dayton Christian 
Schools, where she teaches Spanish. 

Those values are the same ones she 
tried to impart to the educators in Russia. 

"We present the idea that if students 
are taught that there are some abso- 

something to believe in, for hope, for 
truth. Why would we want to try what 
didn't work in Russia?" 

Solomon said The CoMission has now 
trained 30,000 educators in 92 former 
Soviet cities. But she said there is still a 
need for volunteers from all walks of life. 

"It will be sad if the door to the former 
Soviet Union once again closes," she 
said. "But it is tragic that, with the door 
wide open, we can't get people to (the 
educators) fast enough because so many 
cities are begging for us to come." 

Janet Solomon (standing in center, wearing glasses) with some of the Russian 
educators who attended the training sessions in Siberia on Christian ethics. The 
woman seated third from the left was her interpreter. 

lutes, some things that are inherently 
right and wrong, they will behave differ- 
ently than they will if they believe that 
truth is relative — [that] we all come 
from apes anyway, so we might as well 
party and do whatever we want," Solo- 
mon said. 

"Your world view affects how you act, 
and society is helped when education is 
taught from a moral perspective." 

Solomon said the Russians are finding 
out their 70-year experiment didn't work. 

"In fact, after giving atheism a try for 
70 years, many educators told me it is 
impossible to teach without a moral 
base," she said. "It flat out doesn't work. 
It can't be done." 

Solomon said she would like to see 
more moral-based materials taught in 
American public schools. 

"I believe if we were to introduce these 
materials into our own public school 
curriculum, as some pilot schools are 
doing on a voluntary basis, we would see 
a definite increase in student achieve- 
ment and interest, and student violence 
and apathy would go down," she said. 

'Today's students are looking for 

She said there are more than 120,000 
schools with 43 million children eager to 
know about western Christianity. 

"The CoMission has a goal of sending 
12,000 people to the former U.S.S.R. by 
the end of 1997," she said. There are 
opportunities for three-week teacher 
convocations, as well as one-year as- 
signments, and you don't have to be a 
certified teacher to do either one." 

Solomon said there is a need for a 
certain number of trained teachers, but 
noted "we had a songwriter and a Chris- 
tian from Radio City Music Hall on our 

She said the people she met were 
quite receptive to the idea of universal 
human values. Some educators told her 
there were no atheists in Russia. 

Solomon kept a journal of her trip, 
which she hopes to turn into a book. It 
will include poetry she wrote for the 
trip's final program. 

"It is amazing what God will do in 
your life if you let it happen," she said. 

"If you would like more information, call 
Janet Solomon at 513-427-8587. Or call The 
CoMission direct at 800-670-7742. 


The Brethren Evangelist 

Little Crusader 

Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder 
them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:14). 

Hi boys and girls! 

I hope you are having fun this summer. It's a lot of fun to get together with your 
friends and swim or play ball or ride bikes. When you do these things, do you ever meet 
people whom you don't know? Maybe you meet people at the park or when you are on 

Always remember to be a good witness for Jesus around these people. What is a 
witness? That's when your actions (the things you do) and your words (the things you 
say) show others that Jesus is your Savior. When you have the love of Jesus in your 
heart, you will always share your toys. Or you will forgive anyone who does something 
bad to you. 

Try to remember, no matter where you are, to be a great witness for Jesus! He's 
counting on you to tell others about Him. 

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus heals a sick 
man. Then Jesus tells the man to go home to 
his family and tell them how much the Lord 
has done for him. Do you have anyone in your 
family who doesn't know Jesus? How can you 
be a witness to this person? 

What can you do to show the love of 
Jesus the next time a friend comes to play? 

July/August 1995 



James R. Black Retires From Missionary Board; 
Takes Up Challenge of New, Part-Time Position 

Ashland, Ohio — Rev. James R. 
Black retired May 31 as Executive 
Director of the Missionary Board, 
following nearly lOVfc years of dedi- 
cated service to The Brethren 
Church in this position. 

Rev. Black came to the Mission- 
ary Board Office in Ashland in Au- 
gust 1981 as Director of Home Mis- 
sions and Evangelism. Prior to this 
he had spent nearly 25 years in 
pastoral ministry, during which he 
served Brethren congregations in 
Akron, Ohio (Firestone Park); Wa- 
terloo, Iowa; Milledgeville, 111.; and 
Dayton, Ohio (Hillcrest). 

After serving for nearly 3 V2 years 
in the area of Home Missions and 
Evangelism, he became Executive 
Director of the Missionary Board in 
January 1985. Under his leader- 
ship Brethren missions extended into 
Paraguay and Peru, as well as expand- 
ing in both the home and world arenas. 

Rev. Jim Black in his new office. 

Though retiring from this position, 
Rev. Black (66) is not yet ready for a 
rocking chair. He has taken on a new 

challenge, that of Director of Steward- 
ship and Planned Giving for The Breth- 
ren Church. In this part-time position, 
he will seek to assist Brethren congre- 
gations and individuals in the develop- 
Iment (or improvement) of biblical 
stewardship practices, including 
(but not limited to) estate planning 
and planned giving. 

He is available to speak and to 
lead seminars on biblical steward- 
ship in local churches and at dis- 
trict conferences and other gather- 
ings of Brethren. He may be con- 
tacted through the National Office 
in Ashland, where he continues to 
have an office. 

Since his new position is part 
time, Rev. Black also hopes to pur- 
sue on a limited basis one of his first 
loves— evangelism. He will be 
available for a limited number of 
special (revival, evangelistic, re- 
newal) services each year. 

The new Executive Director of 

the Missionary Board is Rev. Reilly 

Smith, who is also serving as this year's 

General Conference moderator. (Seepage 

11 for information about Rev. Smith.) 

Dr. Leroy Solomon to Become 
Dir. of Development at ATS 

Ashland, Ohio — Dr. Leroy Solomon 
has accepted a position as Director of 
Development for Ashland Theological 
October 1, 
to an an- 
by ATS pres- 
ident Dr. 
Fred Finks. 

As Director 
of Develop- 
ment, he will 

riches, Dr - Lew Solomon 

alumni and other individuals, and the 
Seminary Foundation in fund-raising. 
In addition, he will probably do some 
teaching at the seminary in the areas of 
preaching and leadership. 

Solomon holds two degrees from ATS, 
the Master of Divinity (1978) and the 
Doctor of Ministry (1992). He is also a 
1972 graduate of Ashland University. 

He has served as a pastor since 1975, 
serving the Ashland Park Street (as as- 
sociate), Gretna, Smithville, and Wind- 
ing Waters Brethren Churches. Since 
August 1994 he has pastored the Homer 
Baptist Church in Homer, N.Y. 

He is married, and he and his wife 


Jane have a foster son, Jonathan (9). 

In commenting on Solomon's appoint- 
ment, Dr. Finks said, "I think Lee will 
be an outstanding addition to the ad- 

ministrative team of ATS and that he 
will be instrumental in laying a solid 
financial foundation for the future 
growth and ministry of the seminary." 

Rev. Gerald Zook Makes Good 
On a Promise to Tiosa Church 

Rochester, Ind. — Rev. Gerald Zook, 
who became pastor of the Tiosa Breth- 
ren Church at the start of this year, had 
to make good recently on a promise he 
made to the congregation. 

During the winter months, attend- 
ance at the Tiosa Church averaged 45. 
As part of the Passing On the Promise 
emphasis, Pastor Zook challenged the 
congregation to work for an attendance 
of 80 on Easter Sunday. He promised 
that if this goal was reached, he would 
ride an exercise bike the next Sunday 
while preaching his sermon. He went a 

step further with the youth, promising 
them that if a total of 100 attended, they 
could give him a haircut. 

Praise the Lord, attendance on Easter 
was 95! True to his word, Pastor Zook 
rode an exercise bike during his sermon 
the next Sunday. And being a good sport, 
he even let the youth cut his hair. It 
seems they could use a bit more practice. 
They used pinking shears and knives. 
Next time they'll try clippers! Mean- 
while, the Tiosa 
Brethren are try- 
ing to sharpen 
their evangelistic 

— reported by 
Dorcas Van Duyne 

Pastor Gerald Zook getting a haircut (above) and preaching from an exercise bike (r.). 

The Brethren Evangelist 


Brethren Challenged To "Catch the Vision" 
At the Indiana District Conference June 2-3 

Shipshewana, Ind. — "Catch the Vi- 
sion" was the theme of the Indiana Dis- 
trict Conference held June 2-3 at the 
Brethren Retreat Center. 

Following afternoon auxiliary meet- 
ings, the conference opened Friday eve- 
ning with worship; a commissioning serv- 
ice for Rick Miller, new director of the 
Retreat Center; and a message by Mod- 
erator Duane Dickson. The worship was 
led by Crossover and by Praise on Stage, 
music and drama teams from Winding 
Waters Brethren Church of Elkhart, Ind. 

In his message, Moderator Dickson 
shared his vision for the district — a vi- 
sion of churches involved in leading peo- 
ple to saving faith in Jesus Christ and 
discipling those new believers. Rather than 
make recommendations, he offered four 
suggestions: (1) that all churches "be 
involved in a direct, no excuse, growth 
program''; (2) that attitudes be nurtured 
in churches to promote growth; (3) that 
Brethren "aggressively pursue the lost, 
confronting them with God's plan of sal- 
vation through Jesus Christ"; and (4) 

that church members "support the 
church financially," with the tithe being 
the minimum standard for giving. 

The evening program concluded with 
a vision presentation by the Indiana 
Missions Ministry that included a show- 
ing of the recently-completed video, 
"Winning the Race at Indy," about 
Brethren church-planting in the Indi- 
anapolis area. 

Saturday was used for the business 
portion of the Conference. During the 
morning session the moderator's sug- 
gestions were considered and reports 
received from denominational repre- 
sentatives and the various district offi- 
cers and ministries. Rev. Woodrow Im- 
mel, statistician, reported that for the 
first time in many years, membership 
and Sunday school attendance increased 
in the district. Following these reports, 
elections were held. Elected were Gene 
Eckerley, moderator-elect; John Long, 
treasurer; and Woodrow Immel, statis- 
tician. Other officers are moderator — 
Tim Garner; past moderator — Duane 

Dickson; and secretary — Ron Burns. 

In the afternoon session, the board 
and staff of the Brethren Retreat Center 
gave a statement of its vision to relocate 
in order to have a facility more suitable 
for summer camp and for families. The 
board has made an offer on a farm near 
Akron, Ind. Once a site is purchased, the 
board will develop a camping facility at 
the new location. In the meantime, the 
present facility will be maintained. 

Three persons were honored with 
plaques during the conference. Keith 
Bennett and Jim Thomas, past presi- 
dents of the district mission board, were 
honored by that board for their leader- 
ship. Steve Williams of the Roanoke 
congregation was recognized by the con- 
ference for his legal work performed on 
behalf of the district at no charge. 

The conference concluded with a chal- 
lenge from new moderator Rev. Tim Gar- 
ner. He introduced the 1995-96 theme, 
"We Can Do MORE," based on Ephe- 
sians 3:14-21. He developed the theme 
on the acrostic M.O.R.E. — Managing 
Our Resources Efficiently/Effectively. 

Next year's conference will be held 
May 3-4 at the Retreat Center. 

— reported by Ron Burns, secretary, 
and Ronald W. Waters 

Sixteen Brethren Students 
Receive Degrees from ATS 

Ashland, Ohio — Sixteen Brethren stu- 
dents were among the 154 graduates 
(the largest graduating class ever) who 
received degrees on Saturday, May 27, 
from Ashland Theological Seminary. 

Among the Brethren graduates was 
the entire pastoral staff of the Saint 
James, Md., Brethren Church. Dr. Brian 
Moore, senior pastor of the congrega- 
tion, received the Doctor of Ministry 
degree. Darryl Shanholtz, who serves as 
assistant to the pastor, received a Di- 
ploma in Theological Studies. And Kris- 
tal Bowers, director of Christian educa- 
tion at St. James, was awarded a Cer- 
tificate in Christian Ministries. 

Other Brethren receiving degrees were: 

Sharon Bowling, M. Div. (with hon- 
ors); member of the Oak Hill, W. Va., 
First Brethren Church; employed as Co- 
ordinator of Student Advising at Ash- 
land University. 

Elaine Alice Heath, M.Div. (with high 
honors); member of the University 
Church; pastoring in the United Meth- 
odist Church. 

Dr. Donald Kelley, M. Div. (with hon- 
ors); member of the Newark, Ohio, Breth- 
ren Church, where he works with the 
youth; a resident in pathology at the Ohio 
State University School of Medicine. 

July/August 1995 

L. Eugene Oburn, M. Div.; member of 
the Pleasant Hill, Ohio, First Brethren 
Church; pastors the Williamstown, 
Ohio, First Brethren Church. 

Stacy Oligee, M.A. in Pastoral Coun- 
seling (with honors); member of the West 
Alexandria, Ohio, First Brethren Church; 
works for a counseling agency in Med- 
ina, Ohio, and serves as a tentmaker 
with The Brethren Church of Medina. 

Richard Racier, M.A.; member of the 
Ashland Park Street Brethren Church 
and active in the University Church; 
has begun a personal music ministry 
called "Vision Ministries." 

Rev. Thomas Schiefer, M. Div.; pastor 
of the Smoky Row Brethren Church, 
Worthington, Ohio. 

Thomas Smith, M. Div.; former pas- 
tor of the Denver, Ind., Brethren Church; 
joined Park Street Brethren Church 
while attending seminary; becomes pas- 
tor of the Muncie, Ind., First Brethren 
Church this month (July). 

Thomas Sprowls, Jr., M. Div. (with 
high honors); member of the Berlin, Pa., 
Brethren Church; pastors the new 
Brethren Church of Medina, Ohio. 

Kurt Stout, M. Div.; member of the 
Burlington, Ind., First Brethren Church; 
now associate pastor of the North Man- 
chester First Brethren Church. 

Mark Teal, M. Div.; member of the 
Oakville, Ind., First Brethren Church; 
currently pastors a congregation in the 

Church of the Brethren. 

Gerry Weiss, M.A. in Church Admini- 
stration (with honors); member of Park 
Street Brethren Church; seeking minis- 
try opportunities. 

Maggie Vent, M.A. in Pastoral Coun- 
seling (with honors); member of Univer- 
sity Church and attends Park Street 
Church; a counselor with Cornerstone 
Psychological Affiliates in Ashland. 


StefTany Jacquelyn Dunlap to Soul Rowen, 
June 24 at the bride's home in New Lebanon; 
Pastor Tony Price officiating. Bride a member of 
The Brethren Church of New Lebanon. 
Marty Evans to Mark Deeter, June 17 at the 
Pleasant Hill First Brethren Church; pastor 
Robert Westfall officiating. Groom a member of 
the Pleasant Hill First Brethren Church. 
Ann Guligg to Douglas Easter, June 17 in 
Oshkosh, Wis. Groom a member of the Corinth 
Brethren Church. 

Leigh Ann Logel to Christopher Allen Powell, 
June 17 at The Brethren Church in New Lebanon; 
Pastors Tony Pride and Charles Munson offici- 
ating. Bride a member of The Brethren Church 
in New Lebanon. 

Julie Brown to Warren Casella, May 20 at the 
Pleasant View Brethren Church; Pastor R. Keith 
Hensley officiating. Attend the Pleasant View 
Brethren Church. 

Susan Rupp to Randy Fello, May 6 at the Pleas- 
ant View Brethren Church; Pastor R. Keith Hen- 
sley and Rev Richard Leksell officiating. Attend 
the Pleasant View Brethren Church. 


107th General Conference 

August 7-11 
Ashland, Ohio 

Theme: "The Devoted Church . . . Grows" 
Theme Verses: Acts 2:42^17 

The Book of the Acts describes the com- 
mitments of the early church — to the apos- 
tles' teaching, to the fellowship, to the 
breaking of bread, and to prayer. These com- 
mitments of God's people led to a growing, 
expanding church in Jerusalem, in the sur- 
rounding areas of Judea and Samaria, and 
throughout the known world of that day. 

As we master these same commitments, 
The Brethren Church will experience similar 
growth — in the maturity of "already Chris- 
tians" and in the lives of new followers of 
Jesus Christ. 

The 1995 Conference will feature: 

• William Easum as our outside speaker 
and leader of a Wednesday workshop en- 
titled "Equipping the Laity for Ministry" 

• Jill Briscoe as speaker for the Women's 
Luncheon and World Relief Soup Supper 

• Messages by Moderator Reilly Smith and 
Moderator-Elect Richard Allison 

• Rich times of worship and fellowship 

• A celebration of Brethren missions 

• Updates on denominational ministries 

• Exciting business sessions 

Don't miss this year's General Conference! 
Make plans now to attend, and complete the 
registration form on page 13 of the June Evan- 
gelist no later than July 21. 

See you in August! 

William M. Easum 



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( The Brethren/ ) 


un^arburg Library 


Vol. 117, No. 8 

A newsletter for Brethren people 

September 1995 

Do you notice 
something different? 

If you have been a regular reader 
of the The Brethren Evangelist, you 
will surely notice a number of changes 
with this issue — in the size and ap- 
pearance of the publication as well 
as in the fact that articles begin on 
the front page. These are all part of 
the change in the Evangelist from a 
magazine to a newsletter. 

If you have not been an Evangelist 
subscriber, the main difference you 
have probably noticed about this is- 
sue is that you received it. This, too, 
is part of the transformation of the 
publication — from a subscription- 
based magazine to a newsletter that 
will be sent without subscription fee 
to every Brethren home. 

Why the changes? 

These changes reflect a commit- 
ment to using the Evangelist as a 
means of communicating a unified 
vision in The Brethren Church. In 
the 90's a newsletter seems better 
fitted to this purpose than a maga- 
zine. And by sending it to every 
Brethren home, we are better able 
to communicate this vision to every 
member of the church. 

Articles in the newsletter will 
seek to tell who we are, where we're 
headed, and how we are attempting 
to get there. It will focus particu- 
larly on how we can achieve the 
priorities we have set for ourselves 
as a denomination. 

Much of this issue is a report of 
the 1995 General Conference, held 
August 7-11. What better place for 
this first issue of the newsletter to 
begin? For it is at General Confer- 
ence that we re-evaluate who we 
are, sharpen our vision, and recom- 
mit ourselves to achieving our goals 
and priorities. 

Change is inevitable. The Evan- 
gelist is changing to better serve 
the needs of The Brethren Church. 

1995 Moderator's Address* 

Moderator Reilly Smith calls upon 
Brethren to "let your devotion grow" 

I ASK only one 
thing of you this 
week, and that is 
that your devotion 
grow. 'The Devoted 
Church . . . Grows." 
It's not the church 
that sits in the pew; 
not the church that 
thinks that spiritual 
gifts include the gift 
of pew-sitting. It's 
the devoted church 
that grows, the one 
that's sold out to God. 
That word devoted 
is an Old Testament 
word. When Luke 
chose to write that 
word to record our 
Lord's history in the 


Book of Acts, chapter 2, he chose it 
specifically because devoted means 
"given to God in such a way that no 
one else can use it." 

Often times in the Old Testa- 
ment, things that were devoted 
were destroyed — like the city of 
Jericho. The Israelites were to de- 
vote that city to God, to kill every 
living thing and burn everything 
that would burn. That city was 
given to God in such a way that it 
was useless for anybody but Him. 

In the New Testament a woman 
took an alabaster jar filled with 
very fine ointment and broke it 
over the head of Jesus. Once she 

*This is an abbreviated version of the 
Moderator's Address. The entire message 
will be printed in the General Conference 
Annual. It is also available on audio cassette 
for $4.00 (plus $2.00 for postage and han- 
dling) from the National Office, 524 College 
Ave., Ashland, OH 44805. 

did that, the jar 
could be used for 
nothing else. And the 
ointment that had 
been in that jar could 
not be recovered. It 
was totally given 
over to Jesus and 
could not be used by 
anybody else. 

Brothers and sis- 
ters, devoted churches 
are made up of de- 
voted Christians. We 
must give ourselves 
to God in such a way 
that we are useless 
for anybody but Him. 
It's only when we are 

so heavenly-minded 
Redly Smith that people think we 

are of no earthly goo4 — it's only 
when we get that heavenly-minded 
that we are of any earthly good. We 
must give ourselves as living sacri- 
fices to God. Sacrifices are totally 
consumed. They are used up by 
God. And devoted churches — 
churches that grow every day — are 
made up of devoted Christians. 

In Mark 8:34-36 our Lord tells us 
how to devote ourselves to Him. "If 
anyone would come after me, he 
must deny himself and (next page) 

In this issue 

General Conference review . . 1 
Understanding the Bible ... 7 

Ministry pages 8 

News of the Brethren 10 

The Women's Outlook Newsletter 
is in the center of this issue. 

Moderator's Address continued 

take up his cross and follow me. For 
whoever wants to save his life 
[that's common sense] will lose it, 
but whoever loses his life for me 
and for the Good News will save it 
[that's God's sense]." 

Jesus told us that a man becomes 
devoted when he denies himself. 
This is the "me generation" — a gen- 
eration that says, "Grab all the 
gusto you can get"; "Look out for 
number one"; "If it feels good, do it." 

We must deny ourselves 

But Jesus said that if you would 
be a devoted Christian and part of 
the devoted church, then you must 
deny yourself. He didn't say deny 
yourself ice cream or peppermint 
candy or the finer things of life. He 
said, "Deny yourself! That means 
give up your very being — all of your 
prerogatives, all of your options, all 
of your plans, all of your hopes and 
dreams. Give them up to Him. 

When you do that, God will re- 
place them with the most fulfilling 
things He has to offer — His dreams 
for you; His dreams to bless you 
beyond your wildest imagination; 
His plans; His goals. He's promised 
them to you when you deny number 
one, when you give up number one 
for Number One who sits on the 

In Philippians chapter 2, Jesus 
showed us how to do that. It says 
there of Him that though He was 
equal with God in every way and 
had the very nature of God, He 
emptied himself of all His preroga- 
tives, of all His options, of all His 
plans, of all His desires. And He 
humbled Himself and became a 
man. He became obedient and took 
upon Himself the form of a servant. 

In the verses immediately pre- 
ceding that, the Apostle Paul told 
the believers that their attitude 

The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) is pub- 
lished monthly (except July and August Issues are 
combined) by The Brethren Church, Inc. 524 Col- 
lege Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 (telephone: 
419-289-1708; E-mail: Brelhrench@aol.eom; fax: 419- 
281-0450). Authors' views are not necessarily those 
of The Brethren Church. Editor Richard C. Win- 
field. Subscription rates: Sent free to Brethren 
Church members; $14.50 per year to others. Mem- 
ber: Evangelical Press Association. Second Class 
Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio. Postmaster Send 
address changes to The Brethren Church, 524 
College Avenue, Ashland, OH 44805-3792. 

The opening celebration of General Conference (during which the moderator 
gave his message) was not your typical Brethren (or Conference) worship service! 
It began with a "spiritual pep rally" that included a parade of banners, choreo- 
graphed worship by three women from the Northgate Mime Troupe, and exuberant 
singing led by the praise band from Park Street Church. 

should be just like that. They 
should honor one another above 
each other and should look out not 
only for their own interests, but for 
the interest of others. 

Step number one in becoming a 
devoted church is becoming a de- 
voted Christian. And step number 
one in becoming a devoted Chris- 
tian is to deny yourself. Deny your 
very self. 

We must take up our cross 

The second thing Jesus told us is 
that we have to take up our cross. 
The cross isn't a piece of jewelry to 
wear or an even an object to display 
in front of our church. A cross is the 
instrument death — of horrible, 
humiliating, public, excruciating, 
slow, painful, hurtful death. 

Jesus said that if we would be 
devoted Christians who give our- 
selves up in such a way that we're 
useless for anybody but God, we 
have to take up the cross. We have 
to allow him to put to death these 
fleshly minds and hearts. 

Romans 8:12-14 talks about 
what it means to take up your 
cross. The first thing those verses 
tell us is that we need to recognize 
our debt of love to the Holy Spirit. 
It's not to the flesh that we owe a 
debt of love, it's to the Spirit. 

These verses also say that we 
have to live in the power of the Holy 
Spirit and not in the power of our 
flesh. That's not easy, because flesh 
comes natural. I can do flesh. But if 
I'm going to be a devoted Christian, 
I need to learn to live in the Spirit. 
I need to learn to live the life of the 

Spirit and to allow Him to live His 
life out through me. I need to offer 
this flesh to Him to use however he 
wants. That's what it means to take 
up your cross. 

Romans 8:12-14 also says that I 
have to put to death the misdeeds 
of my body, that is, turn my body 
over to Christ. And I have to do this 
daily. That means every morning I 
have to take up that cross and put 
to death the misdeeds of this body 
and learn all over again to live in 
the Spirit. That's what the life of 
faith is all about. But if I'm going to 
be a devoted Christian whose de- 
voted church grows, then I'm going 
to have to do this. 

We must follow Jesus 

Jesus said we have to do one 
more thing. We have to follow Him. 
We have to go where He went, talk 
to the kind of people He talked to, 
give the way He gave, pray the way 
He prayed, minister the way He 
ministered, tell the truth the way 
He told the truth — and not be 
afraid of what brother or sister dea- 
con thinks. I want to tell you some- 
thing — if you follow Jesus, you'll be 
criticized. If you follow Jesus, you'll 
see persecution. And it won't be 
from the people of the world alone; it 
will also be from the people on the 
official board. 

Our theme verses for this Con- 
ference come from Acts chapter 2, 
beginning at verse 42. It says this: 
Those disciples gave themselves to 
God so completely that they were not 
useful to anyone else but Him, es- 
pecially in the matters of the apos- 

The Brethren Evangelist 

The vision to hold General Conference in Colorado received strong support from 
these Brethren — who attended the Great Western Brethren Roundup in June at a 
facility in Estes Park near the one where Conference 2000 will be held. 

Proposal to hold Conference in Colorado 
generates excitement in business session 

The mountain peak of the busi- 
ness sessions and one of the high 
points of the entire Conference was 
consideration of a proposal that 
General Conference in the year 
2000 be held at Estes Park, Colo- 
rado. The proposal came to Confer- 
ence from the Great Western 
Brethren Roundup (held June 23 to 
25 in Estes Park), where it had re- 
ceived overwhelming support from 
Roundup participants. 

Rev. Emery Hurd, pastor of the 
Cheyenne, Wyo., Brethren Church, 
presented the proposal, narrating 
an excellent slide presentation that 
showed the facilities at the YMCA 
of the Rockies Estes Park Center, 
where the Conference would be 
held, as well as views of the beauti- 
ful mountain scenery surrounding 
the facility. He made it clear, how- 
ever, that moving Conference to 
Colorado would offer much more 
than beautiful scenery. It would ex- 
pand our vision as a national 
church, promote a greater presence 

in the western United States, and 
provide a unique opportunity to 
meet western Brethren. 

It was immediately clear that the 
proposal had caught fire with the 
Conference, as delegate after dele- 
gate got up to speak in favor of the 
plan. And when the vote was taken, 
not one voice was heard in opposi- 
tion to the proposal. 

In the discussion, strong support 
was also voiced for intentionally 
incorporating Spanish-speaking 

After viewing the slide presenta- 
tion of the proposed location of Con- 
ference 2000 and hearing all that 
the Estes Park area has to offer, Rev. 
Brad Hardesty "moved"' that Confer- 
ence that year be extended to two 
weeks and that all business be con- 
ducted in one day! 

Brethren in that Conference, and 
for providing opportunities in con- 
junction with the Conference to 
asist in planting a new Brethren 
church in the area. [ft] 

ties' teaching; and especially in the 
matter of giving themselves to the 
fellowship; and especially in the mat- 
ter of the breaking of bread; and 
especially in the matter of prayer." 
Brothers and sisters, I am ab- 
solutely convinced that for The 
Brethren Church to turn from a 
creek to a river, you and I, we to- 
gether, will have to devote our- 
selves — give ourselves to God — so 
completely in these four areas, that 

September 1995 

like a river God's grace and mercy 
and goodness and purity and love 
will flow. And if we do that, there 
will be no dam that could be built, 
no demonly beaver big enough to 
dam our stream. 

We must give up our common 
sense and get a hold of God's sense. 
We must not only get a hold of it, 
we ought to open it and read it. And 
when we've read it, we ought to get 
it out and live it. And we ought to 

speak it. And then, we ought to give 
ourselves to one another. Jesus said, 
"No one has any greater love than 
this than that he lay down his life 
for his friends." If we can love each 
other enough to lay down our lives 
for one another, we ought to be able 
to forgive each other for a cross 
word or a misunderstood look or an 
idea that didn't work. 

We ought to devote ourselves so 
completely to fellowship that we're 
useless for anyone else but God. We 
need to devote ourselves to the 
breaking of bread and to the fellow- 
shipping with one another outside 
the four walls of the church and 
inviting others to do it with us so 
that they have an opportunity to 
see that we love one another. 

It's real easy for me to love you in 
here. But can I love you out there 
where people can actually see it? 
Did Jesus say they'll know you're 
my disciples by your big red or 
brown or blue or gray Bible. No! 
Did He say they'll know you are my 
disciples because you speak holy 
talk. No! They'll know you are my 
disciples because they can see you 
loving one another. 

There's something about break- 
ing bread together and including 
others that helps us make that love 
very manifest. Things happen 
around the table that can't happen 
at the altar or in a Bible study. We 
have to give ourselves to them, lov- 
ing one another in word and in deed 
and outside the four walls. 

Finally, every single movement 
of God since the days of our Lord 
began on its knees. Every single 
revival has been built on prayer. 
When we get ourselves to the place 
where we pray before we make a 
decision and not ask God to fix it 
after we've done it; when we get to 
the place where we pray first and 
then call the doctor; when we get to 
the place where we pray first and 
then open our wallets; when we get 
to the place where we pray before 
we get up and start our day; when 
we get to the place where we devote 
ourselves so completely to prayer 
that common sense leaves us and 
God's sense descends upon us; then 
we'll be devoted Christians. Then 
the devoted church will come from 
our midst. Then God will add to our 
number. Amen! [ft] 


Conference speaker Bill Easum seeks to 
jolt Brethren out of their comfort zone 

CONFERENCE inspirational 
speaker Rev. William Easum* 
shared some unconventional ideas 
in the two messages and in the 
three-hour workshop he presented 
at General Conference. He said 
that he wanted to give Brethren a 
headache. And he succeeded! 

Even his appearance was uncon- 
ventional. Eschewing custom, he 
preached without a jacket and led 
the workshop in an open-collar 
shirt and blue jeans. But his ap- 

"Blue-Jeans Bill," who always spoke 
without a lectern, makes an animated 
point during the Wednesday workshop. 

pearance did not diminish the im- 
portance of what he had to say. 

The Ever-Widening Circle" was 
the theme and Acts 1:8 the text of 
his Tuesday evening message. Em- 
phasizing repeatedly that this pas- 
sage ("you will receive power . . . 
and you will be my witnesses . . .") 
was Jesus' last will and testimony 
for the church, Easum said that when 
Jesus calls us to be His witnesses, 
He is calling us to be martyrs — to 
give our lives away. 

The problem with the church to- 

*Currently a church-growth consultant, 
Rev. Easum pastored the Colonial Hills 
United Methodist Church in San Antonio, 
Tex., from 1969 to 1993. During his min- 
istry attendance grew from 35 to 1,000, 
with single adults making up nearly half the 

day is that it is trying to take care 
of itself. But Jesus says, "Go and 
die for Me." God doesn't care about 
our churches. But He does care pas- 
sionately about whether we are 
willing to be witnesses — to give our 
lives away — for Jesus Christ. 

This witness is to be shared in an 
"ever-widening circle": 

• In Jerusalem — the center of relig- 
ious faith, the local church itself. 

• In Judea — the community, the 
area within ten miles or 30 min- 
utes driving time from a growing 
church. Judea is totally different 
from Jerusalem; people in Judea 
don't understand our language 
and they hate our music. 

• In Samaria — those in society 
whom nobody in the church 
wants. They could be blacks, 
whites, gays, or some other seg- 
ment of society. 

• To the ends of the earth. The 
only reason the church exists is 
to win the world to Jesus Christ." 
Easum concluded his message with 

two corollaries to his look at The 
Ever- Widening Circle": 

First, "When the church is a wit- 
ness, it moves beyond its comfort 
zone." In fact, whenever an estab- 
lished church decides to take the 
Great Commission seriously, a 
fight ensues. Churches often lose 
members for two or three years. 

Second, "New life comes to us on 
its way to someone else." Grace is 
meant to be recycled. If we keep it 
for ourselves, it withers and dies. 

In his Wednesday evening mes- 
sage, Easum spoke on the Confer- 
ence theme, The Devoted Church 
. . . Grows," and on the theme text 
(Acts 2:42^47). He expounded on five 
things from this text, and touched 
briefly on five others: 

• The devoted church in Acts 2 
was persistent unto death. It 
would "not let go" of God's word, 
fellowship, breaking of bread, 
and prayer. Such persistence is 
necessary in order for the church 
to grow. Growing churches don't 
give up after one or two years, 
as many churches do. They take 

three to five years to initiate 
new ministries. 

• It was a caring church. "It takes 
systems for a church to grow be- 
yond 65 in worship." "What kind 
of system do you have in place at 
your church to allow the caring to 
go on when your church grows be- 
yond 30, 40, 50, 60, or 100 people?" 

• It was an innovative church — 
they gathered up all the money 
and gave it away. Some church 
members don't want innovation 
or change. "But the gospel doesn't 
center around us [in the church]. 
It centers around those who 
aren't here. . . . It's time for us 
to think about those outside." 

• It was a worshipful church — 
glad hearts, praising God, joyful. 
The innovative church will wor- 
ship in the style of the genera- 
tion it is trying to reach. If peo- 
ple in their twenties come to 
your church and it's more like a 
funeral than MTV, they won't 
come back. 

• It was a winsome church, in fa- 
vor with the people. The church 
becomes winsome by giving prac- 
tical demonstration of God's love 
and by having fun at worship. 
Easum briefly noted that the de- 
voted church in Acts 2 was also a 
sharing church; unified in its diver- 
sity; spiritual; experiencing awe; 
and growing in the word. He con- 
cluded with the piercing question, 
"What is your church devoted to?" [ft} 

Workshop sampler 

"I am convinced that discovering the 
role of the laity is the way back to the past 
and the way forward to the future. I think 
this is the most fundamental issue facing 
the church right now." 

What we 've got to have [in the church] is 
a movement away from making decisions to 
making disciples. Jesus didn 't say make de- 
cisions, did He? He said go make disciples. 

"This is what we've discovered: it takes 
90 hours and 45 people in the average 
church to vote 'No' on something new." 

/ am convinced that unless we discover 
ways to reach the 20-year-olds, the future 
of Protestantism as we know is over. And 
we 're just not reaching them. 

"The church of the future will have an 
organization designed to get as many lay 
people as possible into ministry." 

Worship that 's relevant and small groups 
that are intimate, that's the church of the 

The Brethren Evangelist 

Delegates discuss two basic questions 
related to denominational organization 

A MAJOR agenda item during 
Conference business sessions 
was the ongoing study of denomi- 
national organization. Ronald W. 
Waters, Director of Brethren Church 
Ministries, gave a brief historical 
overview of Brethren Church organi- 
zation; GCEC member Brenda Colijn 
looked at the foundation, mission, 
and vision for organization in The 
Brethren Church; and Moderator 
Reilly Smith explained the present 
state of the discussion. A panel of 
GCEC and Missionary Board rep- 
resentatives then shared their per- 
spectives on organization and an- 
swered questions from the floor. 

Conference delegates then formed 
into small groups to discuss two 
basic issues related to denomina- 
tional organization: 

1. Should The Brethren Church 
have a single visionary leader at 
the national level who is impow- 
ered to lead? Why or why not? 

2. Can the goals of reorganiza- 
tion — to assure the missionary 
focus of the church and to provide a 
unified vision for denominational 
ministry — be best accomplished 
through a one-board structure or a 
multiple- (two or more) board struc- 
ture? Why or why not? 

At the conclusion of the discus- 

1996 Brethren Church Planning Budget 

Support and Revenue 

Fair Share $425,000 

Contributions and bequests .... 60,000 

Revenue .215,000 

Total $700,000 


Designated distribution $98,000 

Materials ,..,.,..,,.. .110,000 
Salaries and related ..,..,. 240,000 

Other 252,000 

Total $700,000 

In approving the budget for 1996, delegates 
also approved an increase in the Fair Share 
support figure for 1996 from $31 to $33 per 
Church Growth Index point This 6.5% in- 
crease Is the first in four years, during which 
inflation has totaled more than 11%. 

The budget as shown is based on 100% sup- 
port from all congregations. A 70% level of sup- 
port would result in a $99,000 deficuL 

sion of each question, a straw poll 
was taken in the small groups. The 
results were: 

• 59% in favor of one visionary 
leader; 16% not in favor of one 
visionary leader; 25% undecided 
(total number voting, 255). 

• 47% in favor of only one board; 
34% in favor of more than one 

zation. GCEC hopes to be able to 
bring a proposal to the 1996 Gen- 
eral Conference. 

Baptism study 

Rev. Gene Eckerley, president, 
reported on behalf of the National 
Association of Brethren Church 
Elders that the association was not 
yet prepared to make a recommen- 
dation on the question of receiving 
into local church membership peo- 
ple who have previously been bap- 
tized by any form of believers' bap- 
tism. He indicated that elders will 

Elected members of the General Conference Executive Council (GCEC), shown 
during their installation, are (I. to r.) Dave West, Richard Craver, John Shultz, 
Richard Allison, Reilly Smith, Brenda Colijn, Jan Sullivan, Ronald L. Waters, Ray 
Aspinall, and Gene Eckerley. New to the group are: Dr. John Shultz, moderator- 
elect, professor of pastoral counseling and chair of the Christian ministries depart- 
ment at Ashland Theological Seminary; Rev. Richard Craver, East Region Rep. (Fla. 
and SE Districts), pastor of the Maurertown, Va., Brethren Church; and Rev. Ronald 
L. Waters, member at-large, pastor of the Hammond Ave. Brethren Church, Waterloo, 
Iowa. Re-elected for a second term was Dr. Brenda B. Colijn, Mideast Region Rep. 
(Ohio and Pa. Districts), member of the Smoky Row Brethren Church (Worthington, 
Ohio) and adjunct professor at Ashland Theological Seminary. 

board; 19% undecided (total 

number voting, 258). 

Notes were taken of the discus- 
sion in each small group. These 
notes will be compiled and will 
serve as input to GCEC and the 
Missionary Board as they continue 
to seek to develop an acceptable 
model for denominational organi- 

continue to study the subject dur- 
ing the coming year. His report was 
accepted and the issue itself was 
not discussed on the Conference 

Delegate totals for the Conference 
were 208 lay, 153 elders, 23 district, 
5 from cooperating boards, totaling 
389, down 1 from 1994. [t] 

New moderator introduces 1996 theme 

IN A MESSAGE that concluded 
the 107th General Conference of 
The Brethren Church, the newly- 
installed moderator, Dr. Richard 
Allison, introduced the General 
Conference theme for the coming 
year. The new theme is Partners 
in the Gospel, based on Philip- 
pians 1:5. This verse is part of a 
larger passage (Philippians 1:3—11) 
that will serve as the theme text 
for the 1996 General Conference. 
Dr. Allison explained that the 

word partner in this passage is a 
translation of the Greek word koi- 
nonia, which requires an intimate, 
deep relationship and refers to 
something shared or held jointly. It 
implies participation as opposed to 
spectatorship or casualness. The 
word gospel is the word from which 
we get our word evangelism, and it 
means to proclaim the good news 
of Jesus Christ. 

Dr. Allison went on to say that 
the passage gives five (next page) 

September 1995 

ways in which we can become 
'Partners in the Gospel." We are 
"Partners in the Gospel" by being: 

• Partners in prayer. This pas- 
sage begins (v. 4) and concludes 
(v. 9) with prayer. Everything we 
do must likewise be undergirded, 
supported, and bathed in prayer. 

• Partners in evangelism. The 
word gospel in verse 5 speaks of 
proclamation of Good News. But 
evangelism is more than telling 
others about Jesus. It continues 
until others are persuaded to be- 
come His disciples. 

• Partners in discipling. In verse 
6 Paul expresses his confidence 
that "he who began a good work 
in you will carry it on to comple- 
tion until the day of Christ Jesus." 
After persons become committed 
to Christ, they need to grow up 
in Jesus, become Christ-like. 

• Partners in leadership devel- 
opment. In verse one of this 
chapter, Paul specifically ad- 
dresses overseers (bishops) and 
deacons in this church. These 
"servant leaders" had a special 
responsibility to develop their 

Priorities for the Nineties 

(adopted by 1992 General Conference) 

1. Becoming Like Christ (Spiri- 
tual Formation) 

To foster inner spiritual develop- 
ment that leads to outward ac- 
tion, by a deepening relationship 
with the Lord, through a lifelong 
maturing process, toward a life of 
obedience to Christ, lived among 
persons of need. 

2. Sharing Our Faith (Passing 
On the Promise) 

To burden, stimulate, and equip 
persons to share the good news of 
Jesus Christ through both words 
and actions through local church 
implementation of the Passing On 
the Promise outreach process, 
leading to Brethren people shar- 

ing their faith in a lifestyle of 
friendship evangelism. 

Training Growth Leaders 
(Leadership Development for 

To equip and provide opportuni- 
ties for persons to lead outreach 
ministries for Christ: pastors with 
an evangelistic vision; planters to 
begin new churches; people to 
lead lay ministries. 

Forming New Churches 
(Church Planting) 

To extend the ministry of the 
church to groups of people who 
have had inadequate exposure to 
the Christian faith, through the 
formation of new churches among 
a variety of people groups, with 
styles and formats appropriate to 
those groups. 

skills in order to equip the rest 
of the congregation for ministry. 
Partners in church planting. 
The Philippian Church was itself 
a recent church-plant (see Acts 16). 
Paul began the church with just 
a few people, but from that small 
beginning a flourishing Chris- 
tian congregation had developed. 

Dr. Allison pointed out that these 
five emphases from Philippians 
1:3-11 coincide with the emphases 
found in the "Priorities for the 
Nineties" adopted by The Brethren 
Church, namely: Becoming Like 
Christ, Sharing Our Faith, Training 
Growth Leaders, and Forming New 
Churches. [ft] 

Rev. Kenneth and Carolyn Solomon were hon- 
ored at Conference for their years of service as 
Brethren missionaries. Rev. Solomon spent 33 years 
from 1958 to the present in missionary service in 
South America, first in Argentina and then in 
Colombia, making him the senior missionary in 
The Brethren Church in years of service. Serving 
with him until her death in 1987 was his first wife, 
Jeannette. Ken and Carolyn, his second wife, 
served together in Colombia from December 1991 
until July 1995. The Solomons have now retired 
from foreign missionary service. 

Four guests from Argentina graced this year's Conference. The four, 
seen here with Dr. Juan Carlos Miranda (c), a much earlier arrival from 
Argentina, were Rev. Hector and Esther Labanca (I.) and Eduardo and 
Mariela Rodriguez (r.). The Labancas have served The Brethren Church in 
Argentina for many years. Rev. Labanca currently pastors the Amenabar 
Brethren Church in Rosario. Eduardo and Mariela came to the U.S. so 
that Eduardo could enter Ashland Theological Seminary this fall Eduardo 's 
father pastors the Colon Brethren Church, the largest Brethren church in 
Argentina, with an attendance of more than 500. The Rodriguezes are 
newly-weds and came to the U.S. six days after their July 29th wedding! 

Also honored at Conference by the 
Missionary Board were: Rev. David 
and Diane Kerner, for their service 
in Colombia from 1987 to 1995; Rev. 
Tim and Jan Eagle, for their serv- 

ice in Mexico City from June 1993 
to May 1995; and Rev, Russell 
Gordon, for service as Director of 
U.S. Ministries and Church Growth 
from July 1989 to October 1995. 

The Brethren Evangelist 

1& Women's OutCool<i9{ezi?sCetter 

Si publication of the (Brethren Women's Missionary Society 

September-October 1995 

Volume 9, Number 1 

ihe presidents Jen 

Dear Ladies, 

Well, Conference has come and gone. 
I trust those of you who attended took 
home many great memories. I enjoyed 
visiting with old friends and catching 
up with "all the news." The WMS 
luncheon speaker, Jill Briscoe, brought 
a message that touched the hearts of 
many. She reminded us that "any 
place between your own two feet is a 
mission field." What a challenge for us! 

Some changes were made in the 
Constitution, one being that we are 
now Women's (not Woman's) Mission- 
ary Society. The new Constitution will 
be printed in the Devotional Guide 
next year. I'm sure your editor, Joan 
Ronk, will be printing something in 
reference to the changes, if not in this 
newsletter, then in a later one. 

As we begin a "new year" in our 
WMS Societies, let's make it a "goal" to 
increase our own society with one new 
member. If each society does that, we 
will see a nice increase by next Confer- 
ence. I am sure that we all know of one 
woman in our church who is not a 
WMS member. We may have to make 
some changes in our meetings, but 
change can be good for all of us. Some 
thoughts for meetings are: 

• Spend more time in prayer. You could 
do prayer partners or have "secret 
sisters." This will draw your group 
closer together. I really do not want to 
see WMS die for lack of members. We 
all need to work on this and be willing 
to make changes (if necessary) to con- 
tinue the work as missionary women. 

• Please remember that the M in WMS 
means MISSIONARY. That's what 
we are all about and we still need to 
keep up our work with missions. You 
can support local mission projects, 
but we still need the support of the 
women for home and world missions 
of The Brethren Church. 

• The ladies in your local church may 
not read the newsletter and may not 
be aware of just what WMS does. Ask 
if you can have a space in your 

(continued on page 4) 

The Devoted Church . . . Grows 

Devotions presented by Marilyn Aspinall August 8, 1995 

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, 

then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, .... 

But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15. 

Having had the privilege of living in 
another culture for 30 years has been 
a pleasure. The joy of serving the Lord, 
communicating in a different language, 
and beginning to "feel comfortable" in 
that foreign culture did not happen 
overnight. It was a process . . . some- 
thing that took time. 

Getting back into our own culture is 
also proving to be a process . . . some- 
thing which takes time. We've been in 
the U.S.A. now two years, and I have 
been reflecting upon some of the 
changes in attitude I have experienced 
during those two years, regarding 
what I see in my own culture. Perhaps, 
to be more specific, I should say what 
I see in the life of the church in the 
U.S.A. It's hard to analyze actually, 
because we seem to be in the middle of 
a turnover toward positive things. For 
this we praise the Lord! 

When we had barely arrived in our 
homeland, I could see many things 
which caused me to have a negative 
attitude. There was a certain air of 
complacency and habit visible in some 
churches among believers. There was a 
very visible shake-up in society — many 
broken homes and disrespect for 
authority not only among young peo- 
ple, but also among adults who seemed 
to thrive by criticizing those above 
them. The growth in the numbers of 
teenage pregnancies, single parents, 
divorce, abortion, and violence over- 
whelmed me. 

When reality hit, that we are here to 
stay and to serve the Lord now in this 
country, there were times I wished the 
furlough would end and we could get 
back to "the work" in Argentina. 

Sounds like we lived a fruitful posi- 
tive ministry those 30 years in the 
south, doesn't it? Time will tell what 
will last. The Lord put us through His 
refining process many times, and I 
know that process will continue here. 
We're so thankful for the "stretching" 

of our narrow-mindedness through the 
work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. 

Prayer has put us on an even keel 
once again and we excitedly watch now 
to see how the Holy Spirit is going>to 
open our eyes during the new process 
we are living, as we serve Him along 
with all of you here in the United 

Our lessons in the WMS Devotional 
Guide have been excellent this year. 
I'm convinced that much prayer went 
into each of those lessons. There was a 
continued reappearing of those key 
verses for us from Titus 2, especially for 
those of us who are not new believers. 

A few weeks ago I was at a meeting 
where many churches were repre- 
sented. I was visiting with a "mature" 
lady from a church near ours. She 
mentioned that they were trying to 
"carry on" with one of their fund-rais- 
ing projects (the serving of community 
dinners) and that it was "getting to be 
too much for us older ones and the 
younger ones were not coming along 
after them." She expressed concern for 
the fact that so many of them are 
working, too weighed down with fam- 
ily problems, etc., to come to any extra 
meetings at church. They only make it 
on Sunday morning, if then. 

This chat caused me to later reflect 
upon the very real problems she had 
elaborated on during our conversation. 
I'm sure that many of our women's 
groups could identify with the situ- 
ation we discussed. It did cause me to 
again think about some of the negative 
factors I had seen when we had just 
recently landed in the U.S.A. There is 
a danger and a need to be concerned, 
as we see families being caught up in 
an infinity of secular activities and can 
see that their time and energy are be- 
ing sapped to the point where there is 
little left for participation in the 
church, the Body of Christ. 

(continued on page 2) 


Among my famous last words were, 
"And we will keep the yellow paper!" 
However, when we compared the cost 
of approximately 1,400 newsletters 
sent only to WMS members with the 
cost of approximately 7,000 on white 
paper and included with The Brethren 
Evangelist for the same cost, I gave up 
the yellow paper! 

The elected officers concurred this is 
better stewardship and an excellent 
outreach to those non-members, both 
ladies and men, who read the Newslet- 
ter. We hope that they — even the men — 
will become part of us. 

I imagine some of you say, "Why do 
I have to pay my dues, when I would 
receive it anyway?" Your dues pay 
much more than the cost of the News- 
letter. Dues become part of the budget; 
they pay costs for the Devotional 
Guide and Conference expenses; and 
dues add to the receipts for benevo- 
lences. Furthermore, we are not re- 
placing any pages in The Brethren 
Evangelist; we still have to pay for our 
own paper, printing, and postage. 

So, if you wish, color this yellow and 
remember that, as a woman, it's my 
prerogative to change my mind! 

Money seems to be the favorite sub- 
ject for talk! So it was, when JoAnn 
Seaman presented the treasurer's report. 

Since 1988, WMS has been oversee- 
ing National Sisterhood funds. Even 
before the 1939 church split, National 
Sisterhood had some money invested 
in the Brethren Home Mission Revolv- 
ing Fund (BHMRF): $8,000 earning 
4% interest. Although there are some 
local Sisterhood groups, we do not 
have a "National Sisterhood" at this 
time. WMS was asked to be the care- 
giver of this fund and accept the yearly 
$320 interest check on Sisterhood's be- 

In 1992, WMS Conference delegates 
discussed the $8,000 investment, its 
accumulating interest, and a Sister- 
hood savings account of over $1,000. 
Their decision was to donate the sav- 
ings account and the interest to the 
National Crusaders' Program. The 
delegates also voted to keep the $8,000 
invested in the BHMRF, with its 
yearly interest going to Crusaders 
(now the Summer Ministries). The 
consensus was that the BHMRF in- 
vestment could be used, if a NEW Na- 
tional Sisterhood would form. 

To invest or to spend? That is the 
question! Is it time to use the $8,000 
(continued on page 4) 

Devotions (continued) 

During those many years we lived 
on our busy city street in Rosario, we 
traveled mainly by bus all over that 
city of over one million people and also 
to outlying areas. Many times, at the 
very busiest hours, one had to be dou- 
bly careful. Often there was a certain 
push and shove in those overcrowded 
city buses which allowed things to 
happen, which one found out only too 
late to do anything about it. Because of 
lack of visibility, I found myself getting 
off before or after my originally planned 
bus stop. I have gotten off only to find 
that I had left an umbrella or a pack- 
age behind. Some have had purse 
straps slashed and slipped off their 
shoulders as they descended. Some 
have been victims of the pickpockets, 
who take advantage of the crowded 
situation of their "clients." Many 
things could happen in the rushed, 
crowded buses we traveled in Rosario. 

This makes me see an alarming par- 
allel to what is happening in the push 
and shove of our busy world, as we try 
to live for the Lord today. We do have 
the right destination in mind, but 
there's an enemy out there who loves 
to see us caught up in the crowd, con- 
fused about our priorities, and he suc- 
cessfully "picks our pockets." 

There seems to be no escape. We 
might all be saying secretly, "Stop the 
world, I want to get off!" The Bible 
says we should not say that things 
were better in the "good old days." 
Isaiah 43:18 states it this way: Forget 
the former things; do not dwell on the 
past. He's urging us to get on with our 
living, in the time slot which God has 
given us today. 

God is still on His throne! He sees 
all the problems and pressures we all 
live. Yet, He is still in control. Praise 
His name! 

Problems and pressures are not 
new, but let's take heart. There are 
many positive things going on in this 
country. God's people are again coming 
alive. We have seen God's power in our 
own church recently. Young busy 
mothers rallying around each other in 
Christian love, praying earnestly for 
each other, preparing meals for the 
new mothers or for those going 
through a crisis in the family — all in 
the name of the Lord and done in His 
love and power. These are busy work- 
ing mothers with little ones to care for, 
and yet they see the need to include 
God in their daily lives and experi- 
ences. They struggle to keep their pri- 
orities straight. 

There is a resurgence of prayer in 
small groups among young people in 
public schools. Teenagers are pledging 

themselves to chastity and purity, sav- 
ing their sex life for one marriage part- 
ner. I heard it reported recently on 
Christian radio that a local jeweler 
could not keep chastity rings in stock 
for the amount of sales he has right 
now. Promise Keepers for men has 
made an impact in the home, in our 
churches, and in the nation. I have 
seen and heard several of the nation's 
No. 1 sports stars attribute their suc- 
cess to living and doing all in Jesus' 
name! Mike Singleterry of the Chicago 
Bears, Andre Dawson of the Chicago 
Cubs, Reggie White of the Green Bay 
Packers. Athletes from top teams have 
given a clear testimony to many youth 
who see them on TV of the difference 
the Lord makes in their careers. 

God's Word tells us in Jeremiah that 
His plans for us are for good and not 
for evil. We read in Jeremiah 29:11, 
For I know the plans I have for you, 
plans to prosper you and not to harm 
you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

Let's go forward with a positive atti- 
tude. We can and shall keep doing our 
job as described in Titus 2 — teaching, 
counseling, and mentoring, so no one 
will malign the word of God. Some en- 
couragement can be taken from the 
words of King Asa in II Chronicles 
14:7: Now is the time to do it, while the 
Lord is blessing us with peace, because 
of our obedience to him. He told his 
people, Let us build and fortify cities 
now, with walls, towers, gates, and 
bars. Yes, let us build those walls of 
faith (that urges us on), the towers (a 
place above our troubles where the 
Lord can give us a new vision), the 
gates (His protective barrier), the bars 
(a sign of strength behind which we 
can see the enemy outside in perspec- 
tive, but he can't touch us). 

We live in a rapidly changing world 
but, as long as the Lord tarries, we 
need to be about His business. Let's 
say again with Joshua, As for me and 
my household, we will serve the Lord. 


Published bimonthly in January, 
March, May, July, September, and 
November by the Women's Missionary 
Society of The Brethren Church. 

Mrs. Dorman Ronk, Editor 
1325 Coachman Court 
Ashland, Ohio 44805 

Subscription price, $7.50 per year in 

Send all subscriptions to Mrs. Robert 
Kroft, 608 Twp. Road 1151, RD 5, Ash- 
land, OH 44805. 

Women's Outlook Newsletter 


Your prayers for Conference were 
answered! God's messengers were 
Spirit-filled; love and joy and peace 
overflowed from one to another. 
Safety, rest, and good health were 
blessings. Thanks for praying. 

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary, 

Pure and holy, tried and true; 

With thanksgiving I'll be a living 

Sanctuary for you. 

This theme song prepared us for 
worship and meditation on devotions 
given by Marilyn Aspinall (Bryan), our 
returned missionary from Argentina. 
She sees life in America with a differ- 
ent perspective. Not only does it in- 
volve us, but it also affects us. Read 
and ponder her message. 

Although Judy Tinkel, vice presi- 
dent, couldn't attend Conference, she 
completed many details for the pro- 
gram. DeAnn Benshoff (St. Luke) and 
Marsha Nies (Masontown) were the 
song leader and pianist respectively. 
Special music was given by Kathy Car- 
ter (Burlington), who played an ar- 
rangement for flute of "Amazing 
Grace," and Beth Buford (Ashland), 
who sang The Lord of Glory." 

Ladies from the Pennsylvania Dis- 
trict — Adelle Ritchey (Berlin), Vera 
Shultz (Berlin), and Marsha Nies (Ma- 
sontown) — planned the thank offering 
ingathering. Adelle questioned, "What 
are you thankful for? A box of Jell-O, 
delicious apple, a toy truck, hair bar- 
rette, Kool-Aid, shoelace, comb? We take 
for granted such ordinary things." She 
reminded us to give thanks for the small 
blessings as well as for the large ones. 

The memorial service Wednesday 
was given by the Roann ladies. Mar- 
sha Nies and Sandra Medsger sang 
"Sheltered in the Arms of God." While 
Marsha continued to play and Sandra 
read the names of 26 ladies deceased 
during the past year, Mary Ellen 
Miller arranged pink rosebuds in a 
basket. Sandra commented that heaven 
is even more beautiful than this bou- 
quet because our sisters are there. 

Ladies from the Bethlehem Mary 
and Martha Circle planned the project 
ingathering at the Wednesday lunch- 
eon. Susan Kidd reminded the ladies 
that this was the second of a 2-year 
goal to give $25,000 to establish an 
endowment fund to pay tuition for 
training Malaysian pastors. Kathy 
Valenzon received the offerings while 
Dee Keplinger played. 

Approximately 223 ladies attended 
the luncheon in Park Street's new 
Family Life Center. The tables were 
decorated in green and white. Pots of 
ivy in quilted flower pot covers and the 
green and white programs presented 

September-October 1995 

the theme The Devoted Church . . . 
Grows." The Faith, Hope, and Joy Cir- 
cles of Park Street made the programs. 
The ivy arrangements, given by the 
Milford ladies, could be purchased. 
Proceeds were designated for the Indi- 
ana Mission Fund. 

Judi Gentle was the hostess and 
presented Geneva Price, who sang "We 
are Standing on Holy Ground." 

Shirley Black introduced Jill Bris- 
coe, who has authored 40 books, in- 
cluding Heartbeat, one of our reading 
circle books. Mrs. Briscoe stated that 
"a mission field is any distance be- 
tween your own two feet." Basing her 
comments on Luke 5:1-3, when Jesus 
needed Simon's boat for His teaching, 
she said that Jesus needs "our boat," 
various gifts to help in His work. I 
know I need Him; He also needs me. 

During the week, missionary wives 
brought greetings and sincere appre- 
ciation for prayers, notes, cards, and 
gifts. Nancy Hostetler (Riverside Chris- 
tian School) said they strive daily to meet 
the needs of 100 students. She added 
the Riverside School is 90 years old! 

Tracy Ruggles (Mexico City) said the 
Brethren in Mexico City were praying 
for us this week! She asked for prayers 
on September 18, when they begin 
their return trip and especially at the 
end of that week, when they anticipate 
crossing the border. 

Diane Kerner (Bogota, Colombia) re- 
quested prayers for them in a "new 
mission field." Dave is enrolled in 
graduate school in Illinois and she is 
in teaching. Carolyn Solomon 
(Medellin, Colombia) said the Lord is 
working in Colombia, but so is Satan. 
Both Carolyn and Diane requested 
continued prayers for the national pas- 
tors in Colombia and volunteered to 
translate your cards and letters. Send 
your correspondence to the Missionary 
Board, 524 College Avenue, Ashland, 
OH 44805, and the staff will forward it 
for translation. 

Maria Miranda (radio ministry) 
spoke of her Spanish radio program 
and concluded, "If people need God, 
He'll take care of the finances." 

Chantal and Mark Logan will teach 
English in Dijbouti, Africa, where the 
population is 90% Muslim. This is 
their first missionary trip without 
their children. 


The following committees served 
during the week: 

Credential : Betty Deardurff (Gretna) 
and Bonny Summy (Ashland Faith) re- 
corded a total of 110 delegates. 

Nominating : Cindy Stout (Burlington), 

Shirley Troop (Meadow Crest), and 
Patti Sweet (Wabash) nominated and 
conducted the election: President — 
Shirley Black (Ashland Hope); Vice 
President — Marilyn Aspinall (Bryan); 
Financial Secretary — Joanne Kroft 
(Ashland Garber); Treasurer — JoAnn 
Seaman (Ashland Hope). 

Auditing : Karen Weidenhamer (Ash- 
land Joy) and Alice Ingraham (Ash- 
land Hope) audited and approved the 
books of the Literature and Financial 

The treasurer's books were audited 
by a CPA. 

Appointed Officers : The Executive 
Board recommended and the delegates 
approved the appointment of: 

General Secretary, Nancy Hunn 

Assistant, Trudy Kerner 

Sewing and World Relief Coordina- 
tor, Joan Merrill 

Editor, Newsletter, Joan Ronk 

Editor, Devotional Guide, Jeanette 

Subscription Secretary, Ginny Hoyt 

Literature Secretary, Kathleen 

Assistant, Doris Shultz 

This is the budget as presented by 
JoAnn Seaman, treasurer, and adopted: 

Benevolences $16,750 

ATS $4,300 

World/Home Missions 8,450 

Campus Ministry 1,500 

Riverside Christian 

School 1,500 

Scholarship, AU 1,000 

Publications 7,665 


Devotional Guide 
Other Expenses 2,185 


Social Security 

Gifts and Conference 

Total $26,600 

Scholarship: Carrie Lucas, a senior 
from Ashland Park St., received the 
scholarship to Ashland University. 

Devotional Guide: Jeanette Sullivan 
chose the theme "Hearts of Praise" for 
this year's study and selected ladies to 
share their favorite Psalm. A bouquet 
of balloons on the cover suggests a spirit 
of buoyancy. The goals of the study in 
Psalms are to uplift and encourage one 
another and to glorify the Lord. 

Brethren Service Guide: Joan Mer- 
rill announced the proceeds from the 
very successful auction totaled $470, 
which will enable home missions pas- 
tors' wives to go to Home Missions 
Conferences with their husbands. Joan 

• all of you who sent quilt squares, 
(continued on page 4) 

Highlights (continued) 

• our very excellent auctioneer, Tom 

• the Linwood ladies for putting to- 
gether and tying the Kids Conference 

• Nancy Icenhour for her donation of 
two beautiful quilts, 

• Alberta Holsinger for her donation of 
a lovely pillow, and 

• of course, all our bidders. 

Joan added that more quilt squares 
are needed in the next few months, if 
you want to do a quilt next year. Once 
again, here are the guidelines: 

(1) use all cotton fabric. Squares 
should be at least 8V2" square with the 
design less than 8". 

(2) make your designs needlework 
(embroidery, cross-stitch, applique, 
pieced, etc.) Do not use fabric paints, 
etc. The needlework adds to the beauty 
of the finished projects. 

(3) Squares can be sent anytime to 
her at 9300 S. St. Rt. 3, Muncie, IN 

Constitution : Revisions to the WMS 
Constitution were presented Tuesday 
and the Constitution was approved 
Thursday. Two major changes were pro- 
posed: changing Woman's to Women's 
and the terms of the officers. We un- 
derstand that originally WMS was or- 
ganized with the thought of being a 
personal and individual organization. 
Today we see it as a society for all 
women. The elected officers will now 
serve two-year terms: the President 
and Financial Secretary will be elected 
in the odd-numbered years and the 
Vice President and the Treasurer in 
the "even-numbered years. The terms 
of service will go into effect next year. 

The National Project is funds for the 
purchase of a church site and building 
for the mission in Peru, where Miguel 
and Sonia Antunez minister. The goal 
for two years is $25,000. 


Missionaries of September are Todd 
and Tracy Ruggles, who return this 
month to Mexico City. Tim and Jan 
Eagle completed their two-year term 
and Tim is now the pastor at the Ash- 
land Garber Church. The October mis- 
sionary couple is Tom and Debbie 
Sprowls, planters of the Medina Breth- 
ren Church, and all the workers with 
the STAKE project in Florida. Novem- 
ber is Home Missions month and the 
Special Ministries teams are remem- 
bered: Doran and Nancy Hostetler at 
Riverside in Lost Creek, KY, and Phil 
and Jean Lersch and Bonnie Munson 
at Brethren House in St. Petersburg, 
FL. All the missionaries need and ap- 
preciate your prayer support. 

LOOK! (continued) 
now for something other than Sister- 
hood? Maria Miranda's radio ministry? 
The Summer Ministries program? 
Brethren camps? Growing home mis- 
sion churches? Do we allocate all of it 
now? Do we award $1,000 a year for 
the next eight years? 

Delegates were asked to poll their 
societies and send their ideas to their 
district presidents. The WMS Execu- 
tive Board will meet October 21 to 
study the ideas and formulate a rec- 
ommendation for the next Conference. 

Now is the time to discuss and make 
your ideas known! The WMS Board is 
asking for your input. Remember 
Proverbs 11:14, Many advisers make 
victory sure. We want to make the 
right decision for our Lord. 

It is very important for you to return 
the original membership list with the 
necessary changes noted to Joanne 
Kroft when you send your dues. To do 
otherwise presents many problems for 
those keeping WMS records and for 
The Brethren Church National Office 
in the mailing process. 

President's Pen (continued) 
church's monthly newsletter or 
maybe an insert in the Sunday bulle- 
tin once a quarter. Tell what your 
local group is doing and invite other 
ladies of your church to attend a 
meeting. They may have some good 
suggestions for things to do at your 
• Have a program that will be of special 
interest to the "young" ladies of your 

These are only a few suggestions. At 
the workshop held at Conference, we 
talked about what other ladies are do- 
ing in their churches to meet the needs 
of their women. Watch the Newsletter 
and The Brethren Evangelist for a re- 
port of this workshop. If you are doing 
something of special interest in your 
local group, please let me know. 

In the book Heart to Heart with Pas- 
tors' Wives, one chapter is written by 
Gail McDonald and is about "Men- 
toring . . . Woman to Woman." She 
writes, "We all need three kinds of peo- 
ple around us: (1) elders who walk in 
front of us; (2) peers who walk beside 
us; and (3) the young with whom we 
walk. Can you think of a woman who 
falls in these three categories with 
whom you come in contact at your 
church? Maybe you are that woman. 

Let's work together to see our WMS 
grow — spiritually and numerically. 
God Bless You. 


tiZiitor's hiding 

Dear Friend, 

This is the day after Conference week 
and I want to give you some of the 
good experiences of the week. I hope 
my enthusiasm carries this to you. 

Moderator Reilly Smith installed the 
elected and appointed officers, but di- 
rected all of his comments to members 
in general. "You shall be my wit- 
nesses," Jesus said, as recorded in Acts 
1:8, and Rev. Smith asked each one of 
us to answer "What kind will I be? A 
good witness or a bad witness?" My 
life, words, thoughts, and actions indi- 
cate the kind of witness I am and re- 
flect whom I am following — the Lord 
Jesus Christ or Satan. 

Mr. Smith glanced over the audience 
of ladies and observed the majority 
had gray hair or mixed, as my driver's 
license reads! He encouraged us to add 
to our midst brunettes, blonds, and 
auburns. Add younger ladies so they 
may become active participants in the 
Women's Missionary Society, who are 
women meant to serve. We need each 
other. We have much to learn from 
younger ladies and they, in turn, can 
learn from us as well as support the 
ministries of WMS. 

I encourage you to invite the young 
ladies in your church to your meetings. 
First, though, plan your meetings to be 
interesting and attractive to others. 
One comment I overheard was, Their 
meetings are boring." For shame! 
Meetings don't need to be boring! With 
the Psalms of Praise, the study content 
will not be boring. Evidently we need 
to ask God's help in our preparation 
and in our meetings. The flying bal- 
loons are a sign of exuberance, praise, 
and life. Let your society be like a 
floating balloon, not like a deflated 
balloon — lifeless and wrinkled. 

Mr. Smith suggested that we also 
have fun. Blend a proper balance into 
your meetings. Use Lucille Woessner's 
suggestions for roll call; that is fun! 

I pray that you will let God lead in 
your ministry this year. Be willing to 
follow Him. 

Your friend, 

\J Joan 


Women's Outlook Newsletter 

Jesus: Lord and Savior 

By Kenneth Sullivan 

I am a Christian! My sins are for- 
given and God has saved me through 
Christ's blood atonement on the cross. 
But I have no intention of submitting 
to Christ or allowing God to change 
my life. 

THESE WORDS were said in 
anger by a middle-aged former 
California pastor who had been 
forced from ministry because of 
his immoral conduct. He was liv- 
ing a lifestyle contrary to scrip- 
ture, a life stained by bitterness 
and resentment. 

He clung to a false hope that God 
would overlook his unrepentant at- 
titude and rebellious spirit. He 
made it forcefully clear that he 
would not, to his dying day, obedi- 
ently serve Christ. The blood of 
Jesus at the cross, he insisted, was 
all he needed to grant him permis- 
sion to step through heaven's gates. 

While this man's attitude may 
seem extreme, it represents a view 
held by many Christians. This 
man bought into a dichotomy that 
permits a twofold division of 
Christ's redemptive work. Conceiv- 
ably, a person could receive Jesus 
as Savior, then possibly later grow 
enough to submit to Him as Lord. 

"No Christian ever died 
because Christ was his or 
her Savior. Christians 
died because Jesus was 
their Lord . . . . " 

Neither the Bible nor the Breth- 
ren support such a view. God does 
not offer us a smorgasbord of 
Christian options from which we 
may pick and choose at random. 
We are not offered options but an 
ultimatum — the choice between 
life and death. Jesus is our Savior 
precisely because we have submit- 
ted to Him as Lord (Rom. 10:9). 

Christ said, "If anyone would 
come after me, he must deny him- 
self and take up his cross daily and 
follow" me" (Lk. 9:23). James lik- 
ened faith without works to the 

September 1995 

kind of belief exercised by demons 
(Jas. 2:19). Paul told the Athenians 
that God "commands all people 
everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30). 
He wrote to the Roman church, "If 
you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus 
is Lord,' and believe in your heart 
that God raised him from the dead, 
you will be saved" (Rom. 10:9). The 
New Testament speaks of receiv- 
ing Jesus as Lord, confessing Him 
as Lord, submitting to Him as 

When the Bible speaks of believ- 
ing and submitting with our 
hearts, it is not referring to our 
emotions or to some spiritual feel- 
good attitude or even to a Chris- 
tian religious experience. It is 
speaking instead of the totality of 
who we are (mind, will, and body) 
and of the surrender of all we are 
to Christ. Everything about us — 
mind, will, body — is to be brought 
under the lordship of Christ. 

Moreover, when the Bible speaks 
of confessing Jesus as Lord, it 
doesn't just mean believing that 
He is divine. Jesus Himself said 
that confessing Him as Lord 
means obeying Him: "Why do you 
call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do 
what I say?" (Lk. 6:46). 

In A.D. 180 a young Christian 
named Speratus was arrested and 
charged with the capital offense of 
being a follower of Jesus. He was 
brought to the senate house of 
Carthage, where he was offered 
leniency if he would but swear 
allegiance to the emperor. 

Speratus replied, "We have never 
done wrong. We have not taken 
part in any crime at all. We have 
never cursed. Even if we were ill- 
treated, we only gave thanks. 
Therefore we honor our Emperor." 

The Proconsul said, "We too are a 
religious people, and our religion is 
simple. We swear by the genius of 
our lord the emperor and offer sac- 
rifices for his well-being. You must 
do that too." 

Speratus answered, "I do not rec- 
ognize any empire of this present 

the Bible 

age. I serve that God whom no man 
has seen, or can ever see with 
these eyes. I have not stolen. On 
the contrary, when I buy anything 
I pay my taxes, for I know only one 
Lord, the King of Kings, the Ruler 
of all nations." 

What differentiated the early 
Christian church from all religions 
of its day was this issue of alle- 
giance and submission. In New 
Testament times, you could have 
as many saviors and religions as 
you wanted as long as you gave 
primary allegiance to Caesar. No 

ever died 
was his or 
her Sav- 
ior. Chris- 
tians died 
Jesus was 
Lord; they 
died because He alone could claim 
their ultimate loyalty. 

Donald Gray Barnhouse, the 
great Presbyterian preacher, was 
working as a counselor with a Billy 
Graham crusade. One evening a 
young man came forward in re- 
sponse to Graham's invitation to 
receive Christ. The young man was 
having difficulty accepting the 
depth of his own sin and his need 
for repentance. "I have lived a good 
life and have done nothing im- 
moral," he protested. "Of what 
must I repent?" 

Barnhouse looked him in the 
eyes and said, "I charge you with 
high treason against God and 
against His Christ. Surrender now 
and submit to Jesus as your Lord, 
or perish in your sin of rebellion." 

There is no area of our lives of 
which Jesus Christ does not say, 
"Mine!" What God demands of any 
sinner, of any person who comes to 
Him, is total and absolute capitula- 
tion to Christ! [ir] 

Rev. Sullivan is pastor of the Mill- 
edgeville, III, Brethren Church and a 
member of The Brethren Church's 
Committee on Doctrine, Research, and 
Publication, which is preparing this 
series of articles. 

Quotations from the Bible are from the 
New International Version. 

Brethren Church Ministries 

Urban Immersion Experience 

By Tammie Marlowe 

TRYING TO CRAM a week's 
worth of ministry into a short 
article is a challenge. First and 
foremost, I am thankful for the op- 
portunity to have participated in 
the Urban Immersion Experience. 
I thank The Brethren Church Na- 
tional Office for organizing it; Pas- 
tor Rickey Bolden and his wife, 
Glenda, for housing us; and the 
church body at Southeast Chris- 
tian Fellowship for a warm and 
loving welcome. 

Although the week was full of 
blessings, challenges, and growth 
experiences, several stand out that 
ministered to me the most. It began 



From June 17-24, The Brethren Church 
sponsored an Urban Immersion Experi- 
ence in cooperation with Southeast Chris- 
tian Fellowship, the Brethren church in 
Washington, D.C. Dr. Mary Ellen Drushal, 
then chair of the Leadership Development 
Commission, gave leadership to the team. 
Other team members were Tammie Mar- 
lowe of Harrisburg, Pa., and Ronald W. 
Waters of Ashland, Ohio. 

The week had several purposes. Pastor 
Rickey Bolden and Moderator Daryl Free- 
man had asked Dr. Drushal to assist the 
church with leadership training. In addi- 
tion, team members came to learn about 
urban life, to gain a greater understanding 
of minority life in America, and to join the 
congregation in ministry to human and 
spiritual needs. The experience was also 
designed to foster a spirit of reconciliation 
across racial lines. 

Reflections on the experience are pro- 
vided by team member Tammie Marlowe 
and by Southeast Christian Fellowship 
member Daryl Freeman. 

The Brethren Church plans to offer an- 
other Urban Immersion Experience next 
year. Details will be released as they be- 
come available. 

with my preparation for the trip 
through materials sent by the Na- 
tional Office. The book More Than 
Equals, by Spencer Perkins and 
Chris Rice, set the stage for God to 
come into my life in a special way. 
It challenged me and opened my 
eyes to my racial blindness. As the 
book points out, if we are not 
actively seeking racial reconcili- 
ation as Christians — witnesses of 
the gospel — then we are part of the 

The week started with an awe- 
some worship service on Sunday. 
Not only was it a time of praise and 
celebration, but the word of God 
was preached by Pastor 
Bolden with enthusiasm and 
conviction. It was evident that 
the Spirit of God was flowing 
throughout the service, which 
ran over two hours. 

During the week we passed 
many buildings that on the 
outside were rough, beaten 
up, and broken down. Not 
very appealing to the eyes. 

But once inside, they were lovely. 
God whispered to me — this is how 
it is when you look on the outside of 
a person's physical appearance and 
never take the time to look on the 
inside, where the true beauty lies. 

One morning we went to a church 
that serves breakfast each day. 
Feeling good that I was able to help 
out and minister to those in need, 
God showed me that although I was 
there for one morning, I was work- 
ing beside two people who had been 
serving every morning for 14 years. 
What a humbling experience! God 
reminded me that, yes, one person 
can make a difference, but it is a 
difference that needs to happen 
every day. 

I was disappointed when I found 
out that only three of us were going 
to D.C. But God, in all His wisdom 
and glory, said, "Shame on you, for 
I have plans bigger than your ex- 
pectations." God brought three peo- 
ple together that week with a lov- 
ing and open body of believers. 
Each of those three people brought 
special gifts and abilities to serve 
the needs of the Southeast Chris- 
tian Fellowship. 

God never ceases to amaze me. 
He reminds me always that He is in 
control of every situation. I am 
thankful that the Lord granted me 
this opportunity to be ministered to, 
to grow, and to learn to love Him 
and those around me more. [ft] 

Mrs. Marlowe is a member of Com- 
munity Brethren Church, Mishawaka, 
Ind. She has lived in Harrisburg, Pa., 
for the past year with her husband and 

Blessed by the Visit 

By Daryl A. Freeman 

THE Southeast Christian 
Fellowship (SECF) family 
was blessed by the visit of 
The Brethren Church's Urban 
Immersion Experience team 
of Dr. Mary Ellen Drushal, 
Rev. Ronald W. Waters, and 
Sister Tammie Marlowe. The 
primary purpose of the 
team's visit was to join in our 
church's effort of ongoing 
community evangelism and to 
familiarize themselves with 
the needs of those living in ur- 


ban environments who have not 
yet accepted Jesus Christ into 
their lives. 

SECF members cordially invited 
team members to our Father's Day 
Celebration Dinner at the church, 
to worship services, and into their 
homes to fellowship with them over 
lunch and dinner. These experi- 
ences provided great opportunities 
to share theological ideas. These 
times together also facilitated indi- 
vidual growth and understanding 
of cultural perceptions for the bet- 

The Brethren Evangelist 

Brethren Church Ministries 

terment of racial reconciliation. 
SECF members and the team alike 
will treasure these times in our 

The Urban Immersion Experi- 
ence team also graciously accepted 
our invitation to meet in the eve- 
nings with members of our various 
boards and committees. They 
shared their wealth of knowledge, 
wisdom, and experience in church 
administration with our lay lead- 
ers, to help us continue our efforts 
to develop a ministry of excellence 
that is acceptable to God. On suc- 
cessive nights the team met sepa- 
rately with our finance committee, 
deacon board, board of Christian 
education instructors, and youth 
advisors, as well as with Pastor 
Bolden and myself as moderator. 

The team members provided 
many words of encouragement. 
They responded to specific inquiries 
from the church leadership for sug- 
gestions on ways each particular 
group could better focus its tasks, 
become more responsive to the 
needs of our community and church 
congregation, and develop future 
lay leaders. The result of these ex- 
changes has been a rejuvenation 
and rededication of our member- 
ship in seeking the Kingdom of God 
and of fully utilizing the body of 
Christ within our church. A sense 
of revitalization is currently taking 
place throughout the congregation. 
According to each of the team mem- 
bers, this experience was equally 
enlightening and refreshing for 

Speaking on behalf of the entire 
Southeast Christian Fellowship 
family, we were truly blessed by 
the presence of the Urban Immer- 
sion Experience team and are anx- 
ious to host them once again in the 
near future. The assistance and 
contributions provided by the team 
have been a tremendous help to our 
church leadership and our efforts of 
magnifying the body of Christ. It is 
my hope that more churches within 
The Brethren Church could also 
benefit from such a wonderful and 
Spirit-filled experience. 

Mr. Freeman is a resident of Wash- 
ington, D.C. He serves as moderator of 
Southeast Christian Fellowship and 
was elected by the 1995 General Con- 
ference to the Leadership Development 

How are Brethren churches 
seeking to extend Christ's kingdom? 


your congregation plan- 
ning to embark on this year in 
an effort to extend Christ's king- 
dom?" This question appeared on 
a form that was given to pastors 
at General Conference. Following 
are some of their responses. 

In September we will have our 
first "Kids Krusade with Aunt 
Norma, " as a means of reaching 
more boys and girls with the gos- 
pel. The Krusade will include 
puppets, clowns, songs, prizes, 
Bible stories, memory verses, and 
a king and queen. The king and 
queen will be the boy and girl 
who bring the most visitors. 

In addition, we will continue in 
September and October a process 
we began in June of this year of 
passing out a gospel tract and a 
brochure about our church to every 
home in Masontown. We are also 
sending a Christian newspaper to 
every home in Masontown. 

— Pastor Curt Nies, Masontown, 
Pa., Brethren Church 

This fall we will begin Good 
News Clubs in various areas. 
There has been a recent growth 
spurt in our rural area, and we 

expect this to continue. Our plan is 
to reach out to the children, many 
of whom live in trailer courts. We 
will expand this same outreach 
next spring. 

— Pastor Jim Thomas, Loree Breth- 

ren Church, Bunker Hill, Ind. 

We will be investigating and im- 
plementing a second worship serv- 
ice and also begin an outreach min- 
istry in a nearby mobile home park. 
In addition, we will be making a num- 
ber of internal organizational changes 
in order to minimize "bureaucracy" 
and maximize ministry. 

— Pastor Tim Garner, First Breth- 

ren Church of Elkhart, Ind. 

We will be co-leading a city-wide 
evangelistic conference. A total of 
nine churches will be involved. In- 
ternally, we are also proposing to 
make the Deacon Board of our church 
the "Pastoral Care" board for our 
congregation, that is, a group that 
provides "pastoral care" to the 
church body. 

— Pastor G. Emery Hurd, Chey- 
enne, Wyo., Brethren Church 

We are planning a Block Party for 
our neighborhood. Invitations will 
be delivered to every home within a 

two- or three-block radius of the 
church. Food, beverages, games, 
etc., will be totally free to those 
who come. 

We are also implementing an 
internal greeter system at the 
church, with persons trained to 
take visitors after they have been 
greeted by the regular greeters at 
the door and involve them in con- 
versation, introduce them to other 
people, and shepherd them 
through their first experience at 
our church. These greeters will 
also remember and befriend these 
visitors on subsequent visits. 
— Pastor Jim Naff, First Breth- 
ren Church of Peru, Ind. 

These are a few new ventures 
that are being planned by Breth- 
ren congregations in an effort to 
extend Christ's kingdom? What 
about your church. Are you start- 
ing a new outreach ministry, be- 
ginning a special ministry, or 
seeking to reach out in some 
other way? Let us know about it. 
If it's in the planning stages, let 
us know your plans. And if it is 
something you've already done, 
send us a report telling how it 
went, its successes and failures. 
Let's share with one another our 
efforts to reach others for Jesus 
and to extend Christ's kingdom 
in our world. 

— Richard C. Winfield, Editor 

September 1995 


Central District Conference 
held July 14-15 at Lanark 

Lanark, 111. — A banquet and wor- 
ship service on Friday evening be- 
gan the Central District Conference, 
held July 14-15 at the Lanark First 
Brethren Church. Rev. James R. 
Black brought the message during 
the worship service. 

The conference continued on Sat- 
urday morning with a worship 
service that featured a message by 
Moderator-Elect Gary Turner. This 
service was followed by morning 
and afternoon business sessions 
chaired by Moderator Kenneth 

In his address, Moderator-Elect 
Turner centered on two issues: the 
need for a vision upon which the 
district can focus, and the need for 
more active involvement by a 
greater number of individuals. His 
two recommendations at the con- 
clusion reinforced his message. The 
first was that delegates reaffirm 
the recommendations from the 
1994 district conference, "but this 
year commit to resolve and action." 
The second was that district by- 
laws be modified to permit "an ex- 
panded commitment and involve- 
ment level." 

Serving the district with Modera- 
tor Turner during the year ahead 
will be the new moderator-elect, Ellis 
Boughton of the Lanark Church, as 
well as secretary Doris Geisz, assis- 
tant secretary Gini Hutchison, 
treasurer Sue Michael, and assis- 
tant treasurer Melva Staples (all 
re-elected to their respective posi- 
tions). Next year's conference was 
set for July 12-13 at the Hammond 
Avenue Brethren Church in Water- 
loo, Iowa. 


The Louisville Brethren Bible Church building gets a new roof. 

New pastor, new roof cause for rejoicing 
at the Louisville Brethren Bible Church 

Louisville, Ohio — Brethren at 
the Louisville Brethren Bible Church 
are praising the Lord for a new pas- 
tor and a new roof. 

The new pastor is Paul Sluss, 
who began serving the congrega- 
tion on Sunday, August 27. Pastor 
Sluss is a Brethren student at Ash- 
land Theological Seminary. The 
congregation is also pleased that 
Pastor Sluss's wife, Jennifer, will 
be sharing her spiritual gifts with 
the congregation. 

The badly-needed new roof on the 
church building was made possible 
in part by the hard-working women 
on the church's Social Committee. 
Each year this committee sponsors 
a flea market. For six years begin- 

ning in 1988, profits from this 
event (averaging $850 a year) were 
put in a savings account for repairs 
to the roof. But the roof continued 
to get worse and the price higher. 
And it became apparent that the 
roof needed to be replaced rather 
than repaired. 

This year the Lord led the congre- 
gation to sell the parsonage. With 
money from this sale and the sav- 
ings from the flea markets, the con- 
gregation was able to put a new 
roof on the building. And with the 
new roof in place, the Social Com- 
mittee was able to use money from 
this year's flea market to purchase 
a television, VCR, and cart for the 
youth program. 

White Dale Church celebrates 100th anniversary 

Terra Alta, W. Va. — Members of 
the White Dale Brethren Church 
near Terra Alta celebrated the 
100th anniversary of their congre- 
gation on Sunday, July 16. In addi- 
tion to Sunday school and worship, 
the celebration included a covered 
dish meal and an afternoon service. 
Rev. Donald Matthews, pastor of 
the congregation from 1956 to 
1962, was the guest speaker for the 
special service. 

The White Dale Church is a 
cooperative congregation, with 
both Brethren and Church 
of the Brethren members. 
The congregation was 
organized in 1895 by 
Progressive Brethren 
who had left the 
German Baptist 
Brethren Church. A 
meeting house was 

constructed that same year, which 
has since undergone several im- 
provements and remodelings. In 
1936 some members of the Church 
of the Brethren who had moved to 
the community joined forces with 
members of the White Dale congre- 
gation, and the cooperative church 
was formed. 

Rev. Stanley Waybright is the 
current pastor. He has served the 
congregation since 1971. 

The Brethren Evangelist 



Raystown Brethren Church of 
Saxton, Pa., hosted a musical serv- 
ice by Vision Ministries on Satur- 
day evening, July 1. A picnic at the 
home of Pastor and Mrs. Alfred 
Chamberlain on Saturday afternoon 
gave Raystown Brethren an oppor- 
tunity to meet Vision Ministries team 
members Rich Rader and Matthew 
Fischl. Then at 7:00 p.m. the two 
men shared their musical talents 
with the congregation. According to 
reporter Susan Weimert, "We truly 
enjoyed the singing, the fellowship, 
and the sharing of God's word!" 

Rev. Keith and Marjorie Ben- 
nett have joined the team of work- 
ers who are "Winning the Race at 
Indy" by planting cells of a new 
Brethren church in the greater 
Indianapolis, Ind., area. They join 
church planters Rev. Tom and Tiona 
Conrad and tentmakers Jeff and 
Cindy Gilmer and Joe and Delilah 
Garrett. The Bennetts served most 
recently at the Muncie, Ind., First 
Brethren Church and earlier were 
the founding pastoral couple of the 
Bloomingdale Brethren Church in 
Valrico, Fla. The Bennetts will serve 
in the "Indy" work as tentmakers. 

In Memory 

Brethren elder Rev. Roy E. Amstutz, 
78, died July 27, He was born June 20, 
1917, in Smithville, Ohio, where he be- 
came a member of the Smithville Breth- 
ren Church. He was a graduate of Ashland 
College (1968) and Theological Seminary 
(1973) and was ordained an elder at the 
Smithville Brethren Church in 1967. He 
served successively two United Methodist 
congregations. He was married August 20, 
1944, to Wava Harris, who survives. Also 
surviving are four children (Joyce, Janet 
[Gardner], John, and Jim), eight grand- 
children, and two great-grandchildren. Serv- 
ices were held July 29 at the Ashland Park 
Street Brethren Church, where Rev. Am- 
stutz yas a member, with Pastor Arden 
Gilmer officiating. 

Ordination service held 
for L. Eugene Oburn 

Pleasant Hill, Ohio — L. Eugene 
Oburn was ordained an elder in 
The Brethren Church and his wife, 
DeAnn, was consecrated as the wife 
of an elder in a service held Sun- 
day, June 4, at the Pleasant Hill 
First Brethren Church. 

Rev. Gene Eckerley, former pas- 
tor of the Pleasant Hill Church, 
gave the message for the service. 
Assisting with the service were the 
current pastor, Rev. Bob Westfall; 
Rev. Lynn Mercer, pastor of the 
Gretna, Ohio, Brethren Church 
and moderator of the Ohio District; 
and Joe Deeter, moderator of the 
Pleasant Hill congregation. 

Vanessa Gordon and Geneva 
Price, married daughters of the 
Oburns, sang a duet for the service, 
and Geneva also sang a solo. 

Gene joined the Pleasant Hill 
Church at the age of 10. He gradu- 
ated from Newton High School in 
1959 and attended Ashland College 
from 1960 to 1961. In 1966 he mar- 
ried DeAnn Benshoff of Johnstown, 
Pa. A member of Johnstown Third 
Brethren Church, DeAnn was a 
1962 graduate of Johnstown Cen- 
tral High School and a 1966 gradu- 
ate of Ashland College. 

Gene and DeAnn settled in Pleas- 
ant Hill, where they both became 
active members of First Brethren 

New members, new pastor 

Ashland, Ohio — Sunday, June 4, 
was an exciting day at the Garber 
Brethren Church in Ashland. On 
that Sunday morning, seven per- 
sons who had been attending the 
church and who had confessed 
their faith and attended the pas- 
tor's class were baptized by interim 
pastor Rev. Bill Kerner. 

But there's more. Following the 
baptisms, Rev. Tim Eagle, who had 
just recently returned from Breth- 
ren mission service in Mexico City, 
presented a devotion on the mean- 
ing of baptism. After the worship 
service, a congregational business 
meeting was held in which mem- 
bers of the congregation voted on 
whether to call Rev. Eagle as their 
pastor. The vote was affirmative, 

Rev. and Mrs. L. Eugene Oburn 

Church. They also became the par- 
ents of four children, Nathan, 
Vanessa, Geneva, and Ben. After 
working in secular employment for 
a number of years, Gene felt a call 
to pastoral ministry. In 1991 he 
quit his job and the Oburns moved 
to Ashland, where Gene entered 
Ashland Theological Seminary. He 
received his Master of Divinity de- 
gree from the seminary just eight 
days before his ordination. 

While in seminary, Gene became 
student pastor of the Williamstown, 
Ohio, First Brethren Church. Gene 
and DeAnn now live in William- 
stown, where Rev. Oburn continues 
to pastor that congregation. 

— reported by Betty J. Shellenberger 

at Garber Brethren Church 

and Rev. Eagle became pastor of 
the congregation in July. 

The excitement that began June 
4th continued the following Sun- 
day. On that day, the seven people 
who had been baptized the pre- 
vious week, plus five others who 
had been baptized earlier, were re- 
ceived into church membership. 
Several of these new members were 
the fruit of a new outreach ministry 
that was started earlier this spring 
at the Garber Church. 

— reported by Tim Mills, moderator 

September 1995 

Brethren missionary Dr. K. 
Prasanth Kumar was recently 
chosen honorary president of the 
Andhra Pradesh auxiliary of the 
Bible Society of India. 



Brethren from Pennsylvania 
meet for district conference 

Meyersdale, Pa. — Brethren of the 
Pennsylvania District met at Camp 
Peniel July 20-22 for worship and 
fellowship and to conduct the busi- 
ness of the district. 

Times of worship during the 
three-day conference were led by 
Ellie Lynch and Rev. Keith Hens- 
ley, followed by devotional talks by 
Rev. Harold Walton. Rev. Walton's 
messages from Psalm 119 focused 
on the importance of God's word in 
the lives of Christians. 

An unusual situation occurred 
Thursday evening when the mod- 
erator, moderator-elect, and secre- 
tary were not present for the first 
business session. The task of chair- 
ing the meeting fell to assistant 
secretary Nancy McGraw (assis- 
tant secretaries be forewarned!). 
Moderator Carl Phillips did arrive 
in time to chair the remaining busi- 
ness sessions and to deliver his 
moderator's address. 

Moderator Phillips spoke on the 
need for Christians to "Stand in the 
Gap." God plans for His church to 
succeed even though the people He 
has to work with are like clay pots 
— chipped, cracked, and cheap. 

The three district crusaders — 
Monica Hoffman, Michelle Rosie, 
and Jeremy Tarr — presented a 
brief program, and were, in turn, 
presented certificates of apprecia- 
tion for their service during the 
summer. An award was also pre- 
sented to Ron Brown, a Sunday 
school teacher in the Brush Valley 
Brethren Church, recognizing him 
for the impact he has had on his 
students. This is an annual award 
now being given by the district 
Board of Christian Education. 

Rev. Phillips, who was elevated 
from moderator-elect to moderator 
this year when the moderator moved 
from the district, will serve another 
year. Elected to serve with him were 

Linwood Church seeing prayers for workers answered 

Linwood, Md. — The Linwood 
Brethren Church takes seriously 
the words of Jesus, "Ask the Lord of 
the harvest ... to send out workers 
into his harvest field." The Linwood 
Brethren are asking, and the Lord 
is answering their request. 

Ronald Miller, Sr., is one answer. 
Ron, his wife, Sandy, and their 
sons, Ron, Jr., and Bobby, first vis- 
ited the Lin- 
wood Church 
a little over 
four years 
ago. Ron had 
been active 
in the United 
Church. But 
from the 
family's first 
visit to Lin- 
Ronald Miller, Sr. woo d, they 

felt that they had found their place 
of worship and service. 

When Linwood Pastor Bob Kep- 
linger made his initial visit to the 
Miller family, Ron asked about the 
requirements for Brethren pastors. 
Pastor Keplinger gave a rather off- 
the-cuff answer and went on to 
other things. But later he realized 
that this was more than a superfi- 
cial question. Ron showed a depth 
of interest in active ministry. 

Ron and Sandy renewed their 
faith, were baptized in the Brethren 
tradition, and were truly filled with 
the Spirit. Not long after that they 
presented themselves for Christian 
ministry in The Brethren Church. 
Ron was called for licensing by the 
Linwood Church and approved by 
the Southeastern District Board of 
Spiritual Overseers. 

Next, in 1993, the Linwood 
Church called Ron to be the assis- 
tant to the pastor, but with the 
stipulation that he further his edu- 
cation under the direction of Ash- 
Harold Walton, moderator-elect; 
Nancy McGraw, secretary, and 
Lorinda Schildt, assistant secre- 
tary; Grace Grumbling, treasurer, 
and Jim Miller, assistant treasurer; 
and Doyle Paul, statistician. The 
1996 conference will be held July 
25-27 at Camp Peniel. 

land Theological Seminary. For the 
next two years he took extension 
work from the seminary while serv- 
ing at Linwood and continuing to 
work full time in secular employ- 
ment. But the time was coming for 
him to become a resident student at 
the seminary. 

So in August, the Millers moved 
to Ashland, and Ron begins classes 
at the seminary this month (Sep- 
tember). Ironically, while in Ash- 
land, the Millers are living in a 
home owned by Linwood members 
Buzz and Ann Sandberg, who also 
now live in Ashland. And Ron has 
already become student pastor of a 
small church in the Ashland area. 

In two or three years, the Millers 
will return to Linwood, and Ron 
will assume the pastorate of the 
Linwood Church. In the meantime, 
another very capable young man, 
Scott Robertson, will be helping 
with pastoral responsibilities at the 
Linwood Church. Scott was called 
for licensure on July 23 and is serv- 
ing as assistant to the pastor. 

Furthermore, Pastor Keplinger, 
who plans to retire in a few years, 
has publicly announced that he is 
looking and praying for candidate 
number three for pastoral ministry 
from the Linwood Church. 

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( The Brethren J 


Funderburg Library ^i 
North Manchester, ' 


Vol. 117, No. 9 

A newsletter for Brethren people 

October 1995 

Ronald W. Waters, Director of Brethren Church Ministries, asks: 

How receptive are you to chan 

MOST OF US dread change. 
We avoid it if possible. While 
some say that "variety is the spice 
of life," most of us prefer to keep 
"variety" limited to little things. 
But major change — that's another 

Change is inevitable. "Death and 
taxes" are not life's only certainties. 
You don't have to take a very long 
look around to discover we live in a 
rapidly changing world. 

And change can be good. I, for 
one, would not choose to give up 
some of the "necessities" that have 
resulted from change — things like 
indoor plumbing, gas and electric 
appliances, automobiles, the elec- 
tric light bulb. 

When change comes to church, how- 
ever, that's another matter. We are 
right to be wary of any suggestion 
that would 
alter the un- 
changing mes- 
sage of the 
gospel. Some 
things are ab- 
solutes and 
should be de- 

But much of 
what we do in 
the practice of 
our faith does 
not fall into 
the "absolutes" 
category. A 
careful read- 
ing of the New Testament reveals 
that our Lord has allowed great lib- 
erty in many areas of the Christian 
life, including freedom in church 
organization, worship styles, titles 
of church leaders, and whether or 

Rev. Ronald W. Waters 

not to even have a designated 
church building. 

Did you realize that the Sunday 
school is a rather recent creation 
(just over 200 years old)? That Silent 
Night was first played in church on 
a guitar? That the melodies for 
some hymns were based on com- 
mon tunes (even drinking songs)? 
That other English versions of the 
Bible were widely-used before the 
King James Version? That early 
Brethren met mostly in small- 
group Bible studies in their homes? 

Categories of openness 

Change comes easier for some of 
us than for others. In his book, Dif- 
fusion of Innovation, Everett Rogers 
has identified five categories of open- 
ness to change. 
• About 2-3% of all people are 
innovators — venturesome 
people for whom change is 
an obsession. Their motto is 
"If it ain't broke, break it!" 
Innovators are usually 
viewed with suspicion, but 
they take the risks that re- 
sult in launching new ideas 
and inventions. 
Early adopters (13-14% of 
the population) serve as 
opinion leaders for others. 
They try out and modify the 
innovators' new ideas and 
make them respectable. 
The early majority are more 
deliberate about adopting 
new ideas. They include about 
one-third of all people. 
The late majority — another 
third of the populace — are skep- 
tical of new ideas. For them, 
almost all uncertainty about a 

new idea must be removed be- 
fore they will adopt it. Unfortu- 
nately, they often adopt new 
ideas only from a survival men- 

Openness to Change 

.Innovators, 2-3% 

tality rather than seeing new 
ideas as new opportunities. 
• Rogers calls the final group lag- 
gards. These are the 16% or so 
of people who only adopt an idea 
after most everyone else has al- 
ready moved beyond it to some- 
thing newer. Rogers says these 
people have their attention fixed 
on the rear-view mirror rather 
than on the road ahead. 
Into which category do you fit 
when it comes to innovations in 
your church? Are you out in front, 
leading the charge? Are you cau- 
tious, waiting to see what others 
think? Or are (continued on next page) 

In this issue 

Receptivity to change 1 

Spiritual state of the churches 3 
Women's ministry in the church 4 

Understanding the Bible ... 6 

Tribute to Delbert B. Flora . . 7 

Ministry pages 8 

News of the Brethren 10 

Receptivity to change (cont.) 

you dragging your feet, hold- 
ing on to the past for dear life? 

I am reaching a time in life 
when some new ideas do not 
appeal to me. I find I'm stuck 
in the 1960s and 1970s in the 
music styles I prefer. I'm just 
getting over the spiritual ar- 
thritis that prevents me from 
raising my hands in worship to 
God. While I'll always appre- 
ciate Bach's beautiful pipe or- 
gan music, I do enjoy key- 
board, guitar, drums, base, 
and saxophone accompani- 
ment for praise choruses and 
scripture songs in worship. 
And while I'm not ready my- 
self to jump fully into a coun- 
try western music style for 
worship, I'm happy to give 
permission to my church to 
offer such a service. 

We don't personally have to 
prefer all the new worship 
styles or other innovations in 
the practice of our faith. But 
we can give permission to 
others to try new ideas and 
styles that may speak to the 
unsaved and the unchurched 
— even if we are laggards in 
our own preferences. 

The Apostle Paul said, "I 
have become all things to all 
men so that by all possible 
means I might save some. I 
do all this for the sake of the 
gospel, that I may share in its 
blessings" (1 Cor. 9:22-23, 
NTV). And that's the key to im- 
plementing (and giving per- 
mission for) new ideas: "for 
the sake of the gospel." 

Can you imagine Paul trav- 
eling the country with a hip- 
hop band? Happy permission- 
giving! [ft] 

What happened to the September issue? 
and other questions about the Evangelist 

YOU HEARD that beginning in 
September, the EVANGELIST was 
going to be sent to every Brethren 
home. When you went so long with- 
out receiving a copy, perhaps you be- 
gan to think that you had somehow 
been excluded. 

Yes, the September issue was a long 
time in reaching you, and I sincerely 
regret that. The extended delay was 
due to a combination of things — the 
usual extra time it takes to put to- 
gether the September issue after Con- 
ference; the added complication this 
year of changing to a new format; and 
the additional time required to print, 
assemble, and address twice as many 
copies. But in addition to all this, the 
printing press broke down! 

Tim Mills of the Brethren Printing 
Company had the issue two-thirds 
printed when the press stopped run- 
ning. Because of the age of the press 
and the nature of the problem (in the 
electrical system), the press could not 
easily be repaired. In fact, as of this 
writing (September 29), the press has 
still not been fixed. Fortunately, Mr. 
Mills was finally able to finish print- 
ing that issue on the Printing Com- 
pany's small press (more than twice 
as much work and half the fun!). 

It would have been bad enough for 
this to happen at any time. But for it 
to happen on the very issue that initi- 
ated the change from a magazine of 
limited distribution to a newsletter 
that is to go to every Brethren home is 
extremely embarrassing! But that's life! 

Are you receiving more than one copy? 

As we attempt to send the EVANGEL- 
IST to every family or individual who is 
an active member or participant in a 
Brethren church, we are drawing on a 
variety of sub-lists in our computer- 

ized address list. Over the years, some 
people have been put into the address 
list in more than one way (by formal 
name, nickname, husband's name, 
wife's name). Your help in eliminating 
this duplication will be appreciated. 

So if you are receiving more than 
one copy, please remove the mailing 
labels from all copies and send them 
to The Brethren Evangelist, 524 Col- 
lege Ave., Ashland, OH 44805. Please 
indicate which address we should use. 

What about deaths, weddings, etc.? 

Some are asking if we will continue 
to include "In Memory," "Goldenaires," 
"Weddings," and "Membership Growth" 
in the EVANGELIST in its new format. 
As a general rule, these will no longer 
be included. There are several reasons 
for this. First, lack of space. Second, 
only a few churches have been report- 
ing these on a regular basis, giving a 
distorted picture of the denomination. 
Third, many of the deaths, weddings, 
and anniversaries that were reported 
were of people not known outside their 
local churches, and therefore the re- 
ports were of little interest to others. 

But there is room for exceptions. 
Deaths of former pastors and of other per- 
sons widely known in the denomina- 
tion or in a district will be included. 
Likewise, reports of significant increases 
in membership (in terms of number or 
circumstances) will also be accepted — 
but send us the "story," not just a num- 
ber. (See, for example, "New members, 
new pastor at Garber Brethren Church" 
on page 1 1 of the September issue.) In 
general, items of interest to a cross sec- 
tion of EVANGELIST readers will be in- 
cluded. So if you have such an item to 
share, by all means report it. Thank you 
for your interest and your reports. 

— Editor Dick Winfield 

The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) is pub- 
lished monthly (except July and August issues are 
combined) by The Brethren Church, Inc. 524 Col- 
lege Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 (telephone: 
419-289-1708; E-mail:; fax: 419- 
281-0450). Authors' views are not necessaiily those 
of The Brethren Church. Editor: Richard C. Win- 
field. Subscription rates: Sent free to Brethren 
Church members; $14.50 per year to others. Mem- 
ber: Evangelical Press Association. Second Class 
Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio. Postmaster: Send 
address changes to The Brethren Church, 524 
College Avenue, Ashland, OH 44805-3792. 

Pontius' Puddle 




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The Brethren Evangelist 

Leadership, the key to hope 
for The Brethren Church 

Rev. Dave 

By David Cooksey 

SOMETIMES, in moments of 
weakness or frustration, I find 
myself asking, "Is there any hope 
for The Brethren Church?" Well of 
course there is! Anyone who has 
read the EVANGELIST or information 
from the Missionary Board, Ashland 
Theological Seminary, or Ashland 
University knows that 
good things are hap- 
pening. There is even 
hope for the small 
church, the poor church, 
and the dying church. 

But not all Brethren 
people believe there is 
hope. In fact, some of 
them think things are 
pretty hopeless. 

Where does our hope 
lie? Certainly it lies in 
the person of our Lord 
and Savior Jesus 
Christ. But it is also 
found in the pastoral and lay lead- 
ership of every Brethren church. 

Leaders, in order to function, 
must not be tied down by external 
forces. At the same time, leaders 
must have a sensitive awareness of 
people and their needs, an aware- 
ness that motivates and influences 
how they spend time with their 

When I look across the denomi- 
nation, it is obvious to me not only 
where good leadership exists, but 
also where good leaders are allowed 
to lead. Leadership is everything. 
Where it flourishes, growth happens. 
It is like having the proper atmos- 
phere on a planet to sustain life. In 
our solar system only earth fills the 
bill. The other planets are still 
planets; they just don't support life. 

The same is true of churches. A 
congregation may have all the vis- 
ible attributes of a church, but if it 
does not have the proper atmos- 
phere to support life in the form of 
good leadership, growth will not oc- 
cur. We can make all kinds of ex- 
cuses and claim there is spiritual 
growth even though there is no nu- 
merical growth. But the truth is, 

October 1995 

growth provides evidence of life in 
everything, including the church. 

Leadership is influence. We have 
been taught that position and title 
determine leadership. But this is 
not so. The person with the most 
influence in any group at any par- 
ticular time is the leader of that 
group. Therefore, to ef- 
fect growth and to 
bring about change in 
the right direction, it is 
necessary to identify 
the influencers and 
work with them. 

If these leaders will 
not exert their influ- 
ence to facilitate 
growth, then the pastor 
needs to find another 
church that really 
means what it says 

about growing. The 
Cooksey game ig true for the 

church; if a pastor is not willing or 
able to lead, then the church should 
find a pastor who is. 

The key is setting the direction 
cooperatively, with everyone going 
in the same direction for the same 
reasons, without some in the church 

Brethren churches with the 

greatest increase in average worship 

attendance from 1993 to 1994.* 

Mt. Zion Fellowship (Cleveland, Ohio) . 100 

Main Street (Meyersdale, Pa.) 43 

Masontown, Pa 42 

Southeast Christian Fellowship 27 

(Washington, D.C.) 

Nappanee, Ind 24 

Park Street (Ashland, Ohio) 23 

Fremont, Ohio 20 

Mt. Olive (Pineville, Va.) 20 

North Manchester, Ind 17 

Tucson First, Ariz 17 

'The information in these three boxes 
was taken from the statistical reports 
in the 1993 and 1994 Annual Reports 
prepared for the 1994 and 1995 Gen- 
eral Conferences. If you would like the 
statistics for your church or more infor- 
mation about other congregations, ask 
your pastor or a delegate to Conference 
to share these reports with you. 

hindering that movement. Some of 
our churches need to quit playing 
church and actually become one. 

We know that growth means 
change, and change is not easy for 
most people. Even the most forward- 
looking folks find change difficult. 
There are only a couple of points we 
reach that change us; when we hurt 
enough that we have to change, and 
when we learn enough that we are 
able to change. 

Let me say again what I have 
said so often: The National Office 
stands ready to help local churches 
in every way it can. We don't want 
to tell you what to do; we only want 
to help you draw your own conclu- 
sions. We don't waste your money; 
we try to make the best possible 
use of resources and people for 
kingdom growth through The 
Brethren Church. Together we can 
and must make a difference. Let's 
let it happen! [t] 

Rev. Cooksey is Director of Pastoral 
Ministries for The Brethren Church. 
This article is an edited version of the 
written "Spiritual State of the Churches" 
report he presented to General Confer- 
ence in August. 

Brethren churches with the 

greatest increase in membership 

from 1993 to 1994/ 

Vinco (Mineral Point, Pa.) 31 

Krypton, Ky 26 

Mt. Olive (Pineville, Va.) 26 

Winding Waters (Elkhart, Ind.) 24 

Nappanee, Ind 23 

Main Street (Meyersdale, Pa.) 22 

North Manchester, Ind 21 

Falls City, Nebr 18 

Waterbrook (Elkton, Va.) 16 

Northwest Chapel (Tucson, Ariz.) .... 14 

Valley (Jone Mills, Pa.) 14 

Brethren churches with the 

greatest percentage of increase in 

average worship attendance from 

1993 to 1994.* 

Main Street (Meyersdale, Pa.) (41 to 84) 


Masontown, Pa. (47 to 89) 


Fremont, Ohio (27 to 47) 


Matteson, Mich. (12 to 20) 


Southeast Christian Fellowship .... 


(Washington, D.C.) (52 to 79) 

Falls City, Nebr. (32 to 48) 


Teegarden (Walkerton, Ind.) (22 to 30) 


Krypton, Ky. (43 to 58) 


Carmel, Ind. (31 to 40) 


Tucson First, Ariz. (61 to 78) 


Back to the Future: Women's 
Ministry in The Brethren Church 

By Carolyn Cooksey and Julie Schiefer 

THE HOLY SPIRIT is speaking 
to men and women across our 
denomination. God is working in us 
and through us to renew the vision 
of who we are and what we must 
do as a church to spread the Good 
News to this generation. 

The Brethren Church has deter- 
mined its priorities for this decade: 
to grow spiritually; to share our faith 
more intentionally; to encourage, de- 
velop, and support leadership; and to 
form new churches. All of us who call 
ourselves Brethren are to be grow- 
ing, sharing, leading, serving, and 
praying. We need to do it alone and 
with others in our congregations, our 
districts, and our denomination. 

The women of the church are no 
exception. The Holy Spirit is speak- 
ing to women across the denomina- 
tion. God is calling and gifting 
women with a variety of exciting, 
innovative ways of ministry. How 
are we meeting the challenge and 
opportunity of this movement of 
the Spirit in our changing world? 

The Spiritual Formation Commis- 
sion takes'seriously the priorities of 
the denomination. It sponsored a 
workshop at General Conference en- 
titled "Back to the Future: Women's 
Ministry in The Brethren Church." 
The goal of the workshop was to 
examine women's ministry — past, 
present, and future — and to give 
women a chance to dialogue, ask 
questions, brainstorm, share expe- 
riences, and present their vision for 
themselves as members of The 
Brethren Church. Twelve women rep- 
resenting twelve perspectives, shared 
experiences and told of the many 
opportunities available to women. 

Carolyn Cooksey presided over 
the workshop and presented some 
of the dilemmas facing women as 
they seek to minister in the church. 

Opportunities through W.M.S. 

Shirley Black, president of the 
national Women's Missionary Soci- 
ety (W.M.S.) shared a brief history of 
W.M.S. , which over the years has 
given women an organized outlet 

for service. Through this organiza- 
tion Brethren women have raised 
hundreds of thousands of dollars for 
missions and other projects. 

Jo Ann Seaman mentioned some 
of the current projects and activi- 
ties of national W.M.S. She also told 
how she has benefited from being 
part of a nurturing W.M.S. group at 
Park Street Brethren Church. 

"Our desire is to see every 
person equipped for minis- 
try and given opportunity 
and encouragement to ac- 
complish all that God de- 
sires that person to be and 
to do for His kingdom." 

Anita Hollewell shared the dy- 
namics of a W.M.S. group that is 
using a flexible, gifts-oriented ap- 
proach to enable busy moms and 
working women to participate. For 
example, outreach projects, such as 
making care packages for college 
students, are done during their 
meeting time. They keep refresh- 
ments simple. They choose fund- 
raising projects that can be done 
quickly, with as little time away 
from home and family as possible. 

Many other women have been in- 
strumental in beginning ministries 
that provide opportunities for spiri- 
tual growth, service, and evangel- 
istic outreach. These care/share/ 
prayer groups take a variety of forms 
to fit the local congregation. 

Cindy Smith told of a group that 
emerged in her congregation that 
enabled women to nurture and sup- 
port one another and also to reach 
out to community needs in simple, 
tangible ways. Their involvement 
with a local school was positive and 

Ann Miller did some reaching out 
of her own by inviting a number of 
women — some Christian, some not 
— to her home for Bible study. Since 
most of the women had small chil- 
dren, Ann needed a little creativity. 
Her solution: let the kids have the 
family room while the moms had 

their Bible study in Ann's bedroom! 
Ann provided samples of materials 
and told about methods for prayer 
and study that are of benefit to 
women in all stages of life. 

Shirley Scott is half of a Prayer- 
Partner team. Women at the 
Smoky Row Brethren Church for 
several years had Secret Sisters, 
but this year they decided instead 
to have Prayer Partners. Prayer 
Partners, who either select one an- 
other or are assigned, choose to 
meet weekly, twice monthly, or 
whenever it fits their schedules. 
They have found that meeting 
regularly with another person to 
share and pray results in personal 
spiritual growth as well as a bond- 
ing relationship with a sister in 
Christ. The women are seeking God 
and are seeing God at work in their 
lives and in the world. 

Julie Schiefer presented an- 
other model of ministry. She spoke 
of their women's fellowship as a 
"non-organization" but as one 
which has become a powerful 
source of ministry for their women. 
The group meets monthly for study, 
fellowship, prayer, and service. 
These times together provide an 
opportunity for the women to care 
for one another and to give witness 
that God changes things and people 
and that He heals and restores as 
well as providing for our needs. 

Opportunities beyond the local church 

Up to this point, discussion had 
centered primarily on local-church 
organizations. The women who spoke 
next shared experiences that went 
beyond local congregations. 

Carolyn Brandon used both prose 
and poetry to relate her experience 
of personal growth. She attended a 
Brethren Way of Christ weekend. 
This is an intense, three-day retreat 
to renew and strengthen the faith 
of Christians. Separate weekends 
are held for men and women, usually 
in March and in October or Novem- 
ber. Interested persons can contact 

Mrs. Cooksey is a member of the Ash- 
land Park Street Brethren Church, and 
serves on the Spiritual Formation 
Commission of The Brethren Church. 
Mrs. Schiefer is a member of the 
Smoky Row Brethren Church in 
Worthington, Ohio, where her husband 
is the pastor. 

The Brethren Evangelist 

Mrs. Brandon, or Warren Garner 
through the North Manchester, 
Ind., First Brethren Church. 

Tracy Whiteside is a leader for 
Bible Study Fellowship Interna- 
tional. These non-denominational 
groups meet weekly during the 
school year for in-depth study on a 
yearly theme. Participants are as- 
signed to small groups for discus- 
sion and fellowship. Members can 
also drop in on other Bible Study 
Fellowship meetings when visiting 
other cities. Contact Tracy for addi- 
tional information. 

Sue Mercer completed the panel 
presentation by outlining a new 
program among women of the 
Gretna Brethren Church that 
works with junior high and high 
school girls. The program includes 
personal mentoring, a mailbox 
ministry, Moms in Touch, and 
prayer groups that pray specifically 
for children (regularly and for a 
"solid hour"). Moms in Touch is a 
national organization that has 
guidelines for starting local groups 
and suggestions of ways to encour- 
age school staff. 

A memorial tribute to the woman 
who wrote "Jesus Calls Us" 

By Julia Flora 

OCTOBER 12 marks the 100th anni- 
versary of the death of Cecil Frances 
(Hymphreys) Alexander, one of the great- 
est female hymn-writers and author of the 
well-known hymn, "Jesus Calls Us." 

Born (in 1818) and raised in Ireland, she 
began writing poems at an early age. By 
the time she was nine, her poetry was be- 
ing published in a small periodical that 
circulated within her family. 

As a young woman, Cecil devoted her 
time to the religious education of children. 
She believed that children could best be 
taught the substance of Christian creeds 
and special Christian days through poetry. 
So she wrote hymns for her students and 
read the verses to them. 

In 1846 her First book, Verses for Holy 
Seasons, was published, which contained a 
hymn for every Sunday and other special 
days. Two years later another book, Hymns 
for Little Children, was published. This 
small book of 72 pages sold a quarter of a 
million copies in 20 years and by 1896 
reached its 69th edition. 

In 1850 Cecil married Rev. William Alex- 
ander. Two years later her hymn, "Jesus 
Calls Us," was first published — in a volume 
called Hymns for Public Worship. It was 
designated for St. Andrew's Day (Novem- 
ber 30). 

Mrs. Alexander's husband was very sup- 
portive of her hymn-writing. Once he read 
to her a pamphlet which told of the great 
change that had come in the heart and life 
of a man when he heard one of her hymns 
sung. Looking directly at her husband, this 
usually humble poet said, Thank God! I do 
like to hear that." 

As a minister's wife, Mrs. Alexander 
spent much time traveling over miles of 
wet moorland, mountains, and bogs in all 

kinds of weather carrying food, warm 
clothing, and medical supplies to the im- 
poverished and sick of her husband's par- 
ish. In one cottage she found a woman with 
a serious wound who had no one to care for 
her. Every day for six weeks Mrs. Alexan- 
der visited the woman to wash and dress 
the wound 
until it was 

In 1867 
her hus- 
band be- 
came a 
bishop, and 
later he 
was made 

Other well-known hymns by 
Cecil Frances Alexander: 

All Things Bright and Beautiful 

Once in Royal David's City 

There is a Green Hill 

In all she wrote about 400 hymns. 

Nearly all were written for children, 

but many were well-liked by adults. 

Archbishop of Ireland. As the Archbishop's 
wife, she hosted many distinguished digni- 
taries and shared the publicity of her hus- 
band's prominent life. But she was as much 
at home in the impoverished areas as she 
was in the Archbishop's Palace, as their 
home was called. 

She continued to write poetry until ten 
books were published containing about 400 
hymns. Someone wrote that her hymns 
"are charmingly simple and tender, clear in 
dogma, and of poetic beauty." The great 
French composer Charles Gounod consid- 
ered "Jesus Calls Us" to be nearly perfect 
because of its simplicity. It was adopted as 
the official hymn of the Brotherhood of St. 
Andrew of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in the United States and of the 
Church of England in Canada. 

Mrs. Alexander was much admired by 
the people of her country. When she died, a 
great crowd of people from all over Great 
Britain came to her funeral in Londonderry 
to pay tribute to this noble lady. [D"] 

Mrs. Flora, a member of the Ashland Park 
Street Brethren Church, works as a librarian 
at Ashland Theological Seminary. Her book, 
Suffering and Song, about hymns and 
hymn-writers, is scheduled for publication at 
the end of this month (October). 

What a wealth of diverse oppor- 
tunities these women shared! It 
was apparent that spoon-fed Chris- 
tians are learning to feed them- 
selves and are embracing the op- 
portunity to feed others as well. 

As the workshop continued, 
Sherry Bowling told of her research 
into the rich heritage of good, excit- 
ing, powerful women in our church 
who established a legacy we must 
continue to maintain. She gave ex- 
amples of women of the past who 
pastored churches, sought ordina- 
tion, and encouraged all members 

. to ministry. Using 

past and present 
statistics, she chal- 
lenged us to enlarge 
the role of women in 
the church today. 

The workshop was 
well-attended and 
well-received. It was 
good to see women 
talking about these 
opportunities both to 
receive and to give 
ministry. The Holy 
Spirit is speaking to 
both women and men 
across our denomina- 
tion. How are we go- 
ing to respond? It is 
up to the women of 
today to define their 
vision for women in 
The Brethren Church 
— both now and in the 
church of the future. 
Our desire is to 
see every person 
equipped for ministry 
and given opportu- 
nity and encourage- 
ment to accomplish 
all that God desires 
that person to be and 
to do for His king- 
dom. How can women 
be all that God de- 
sires for them to be in 
the church? God has 
led us to a point of ex- 
amination and dis- 
covery. Let us join to- 
gether in prayer for 
God's wisdom and 
guidance as we con- 
tinue to seek answers 
to this important 
question. [D 1 ] 

October 1995 

The Cost of Discipleship 

By William Kerner 

ACCORDING TO a popular say- 
ing, 'The best things in life are 
free." Christians know that eternal 
life in Jesus Christ is also a free 
gift. It is impossible for a person in 
any way to earn or buy this gift. 
The Apostle Paul makes this plain: 
"For it is by grace you have been 
saved, through faith — and this not 
from yourselves, it is the gift of 
God — not by works, so that no one 
can boast" (Eph. 2:8, 9*). 

This raises the question, "Does 
this salvation from sin and all its 
consequences cost nothing?" The 
answer is, "It cost much." 

Our costly salvation 

Our salvation cost God His only 
Son. It cost Jesus Christ the glory 
and majesty that had been His be- 
fore He came to earth. It required 
that Jesus Christ accept identifica- 
tion with humanity, an identifica- 
tion so complete that Christ will 
remain forever as the God-man, 
now seated at the right hand of 
God. Nothing in all of creation has 
cost so much as the price Christ 
paid for our salvation. 

Consequently, this "free gift" of 
eternal life can only be ours by a 
complete surrender of our lives to 
.Jesus Christ. The gospel call that 
Jesus gave at the start of His min- 
istry and which He gives to every 
person today is: "Repent, for the king- 
dom of heaven is near" (Matt. 4:17). 
This complete turn around of one's 
life, so essential to salvation, is de- 
scribed by Paul as being rescued 
from the dominion of darkness and 
being brought into the kingdom of 
Christ. (See Colossians 1:13.) 

Christ told the crowds that fol- 
lowed Him that eternal life with 
Him would be costly in this world. 
He said, "If anyone comes to me 
and does not hate his father and 
mother, his wife and children, his 
brothers and sisters — yes, even his 
own life — he cannot be my disciple" 
(Lk. 14:26). Just what is Jesus say- 

*Quotations from the Bible are from the 
New International Version. 

ing here? Is He saying that to be 
His disciple one must despise even 
close relatives? And if so, is this not 
a contradiction of the ethic He 
referred to so often — "Love your 
neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:39)? 
What does Jesus mean? 

He means that just as posses- 
sions can remove one's focus from 
Christ and therefore come between 
the believer and Christ, even so fam- 
ily ties can do the same. Jesus Christ 
and the interests of His kingdom 
are to be the top flag on the flagpole 
of our lives. Earlier in His ministry 
Jesus had reminded the 12 disci- 
ples, "Anyone who loves his father 
or mother more than me is not wor- 
thy of me; anyone who loves his son 
or daughter more than me is not 
worthy of me . . ." (Matt. 10:37). 

The message for us is that follow- 
ers of Christ are to love Him more 
than they love even their own fam- 
ily; yes, even more than their own 
lives. Our love for Christ is to be so 
great that love for family and for 
self appear by comparison as hate. 

But why is the language of Jesus 
so severe? The answer is that Christ 
does not want half-hearted people 
being deluded into thinking that 
they are in the kingdom of God. 
(Note Matthew 7:21-23.) 

Christ reinforces this thought 
with these words: "And anyone who 
does not carry his cross and follow 
me cannot be my disciple" (Lk. 
14:27). The disciples knew that the 
cross was a symbol of suffering and 
shame. But the cross is not just any 
suffering. It is the suffering and 
shame which result from faithfully 
following Jesus. This involves say- 
ing "no" to self-interests and saying 
"yes" to the interests of Christ. 

Count well the cost 

Following the Lord Jesus is not to 
be taken lightly. One must count 
the cost involved. Jesus gave two 
illustrations of this. 

In the first illustration he said: 
"Suppose one of you wants to build 
a tower. Will he not first sit down 

the Bible 

and estimate the cost to see if he 
has enough money to complete it?" 
(Lk. 14:28). Building a Christ-like 
life is like building a tower. In our 
own natural ability, we have inade- 
quate resources to live a Christ- 
pleasing life. We can't meet the 
cost. Only by the grace given by the 
Holy Spirit can the believer build 
such a life. Count well the cost — 
complete surrender to Christ. 

The second illustration speaks to 
the other part of the struggle. "Or 
suppose a king is about to go to war 

king. Will 
he not 
first sit 
down and 
he is able 
with ten 
men to op- 
pose the one coming against him 
with twenty thousand? If he is not 
able, he will send a delegation 
while the other is still a long way 
off and will ask for terms of peace" 
(Lk. 31, 32). When a person becomes 
a Christian, that person in effect 
declares war on Satan and his help- 
ers. And Satan fights back. Again, 
we are asked to count the cost. Can 
we afford to follow Christ? Can we 
afford not to? Jesus' answer is, "In 
the same way, any of you who does 
not give up everything he has can- 
not be my disciple" (Lk. 14:33). 

Alexander Mack, one of the foun- 
ders of the Brethren movement, 
wrote a hymn, "Count Well the 
Cost," that should be given much 
thought in our evangelism. 

Christ Jesus says, "Count well the 

When you lay the foundation." 
Are you resolved though all seem 

To risk your reputation. 
Your self, your wealth, for Christ 

the Lord 
As you now give your solemn 

word? [if] 

Rev. Kerner is a retired pastor and 
former Director of Pastoral Ministries 
for The Brethren Church. He serves on 
The Brethren Church's Committee on 
Doctrine, Research, and Publication, 
which is preparing this series of articles. 

The Brethren Evangelist 

A Memorial Tribute to Dr. Delbert B. Flora 

THE CALLING home of Dr. Delbert 
B. Flora, our good friend and de- 
voted associate for many years, marked 
the end of a life dedicated to the per- 
sonal God whom he served and the 
Lord and Savior whose Messiahship 
he acknowledged in word and deed. 

Delbert loved people, young and 
old. His genuine concern for their 
growth as Christians and his under- 
standing of their problems was always 
apparent. I was one who learned early 
to respect his friendly support. His 
steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, the Liv- 
ing Master whom he served, was ex- 
emplary at all times. 

Delbert loved his church and served 
well as pastor, moderator, and district 
leader. His was a life characterized by 
biblical scholarship, archaeological 
research, and teaching. He read and 
reread the scriptures, compared and 
researched texts, studied, prayed, and 
marveled at his findings. 

His devotion to the Truth and his 
intellectual curiosity led he and Ro- 
mayne to spend much time and seri- 
ous study in the Holy Lands. As a 
teacher, Delbert carefully researched 
each lecture, even though he was fa- 
miliar with the subject involved. He did 

By Dr. Glenn L. Clayton 

not rely on experience or notes from 
previous lectures, but reexamined the 
subject, looking for new findings on 
each occasion. 

But perhaps the greatest contribu- 
tion of this man of God was to the 

Dr. Delbert B. Flora 

seminary. In 1931 he became the first 
person to graduate from the newly 
formed graduate program of Ashland 
Theological Seminary. Following sev- 

Dr. Delbert B. Flora, former dean (1953- 
63) and faculty member (1946-74) at Ash- 
land Theological Seminary, died August 31 
at the age of 94. He was born June 27, 1901, 
near Nappanee, Indiana. 

After leaving high school, he taught school 
and worked in a furniture factory for a time 
before responding to a call to the ministry. 
He then attended Ashland College (degree in 
1929) and Ashland Theological Seminary (de- 
gree in 1931). Ordained a Brethren Elder in 
1927, he pastored Brethren churches in Cerro 
Gordo, HI., Masontown, Pa., and Elkhart, Ind., 
before joining the seminary faculty in 1946. 

He did additional studies at the Rural 
Church School of Vanderbilt University, at 
Goshen College, and at Winona Lake School 
of Theology (STM, 1950). Beginning in 1952, 
he also traveled extensively in the Middle 
East to study the history and archaeology of 
the biblical world, spending four terms at the 
American School of Oriental Research in 
Jerusalem. He made it possible for Ashland 

Theological Seminary to acquire the Robert 
Houston Smith Archaeological Collection. 

On September 2, 1929, he married Romayne 
Keyes, who survives him. They were the par- 
ents of three sons, Jerry (who lives in Ash- 
land and teaches at the seminary), Guy (a 
retired teacher who lives in Cardington, 
Ohio), and John (a medical doctor in Urbana, 
Ohio). They also had eight grandchildren and 
five great-grandchildren. 

Dr. Flora was General Conference mod- 
erator in 1958, constantly served on various 
denominational committees, and authored many 
articles for The Brethren Evangelist and 
other publications. He represented The Breth- 
ren Church at the 250th anniversary celebra- 
tion of the founding of the Brethren move- 
ment, held at Schwarzenau, Germany, in 1958. 

A memorial service for Dr. Flora was held 
September 2 at the Ashland Park Street 
Brethren Church with Dr. Arden Gilmer 
(pastor) officiating, assisted by Dr. Fred 
Finks and Dr. Glenn L. Clayton. 

eral years in the pastorate, he returned 
to Ashland in 1946 to join the Ash- 
land College and Seminary faculty. In 
1951 he became chairman of the 
seminary faculty, then in 1953 he was 
appointed dean. 

His tenure as chairman and dean 
from 1951 to 1963 was one of great 
stress, with problems so severe as to 
challenge the very existence of the 
seminary. His steadfast leadership, his 
deep faith in God and the church, and 
his dedication to the work at hand 
were significant factors in the preser- 
vation and later growth of Ashland 
Theological Seminary. His leadership 
at that time extended both to the cam- 
pus and to The Brethren Church. He 
led the church to a new concept of 
leadership including a sound educa- 
tional system. His message was one of 
exemplary teaching to promote ap- 
preciation of learning and the research 
of doctrine and truth. 

It was therefore entirely fitting that 
his outstanding contributions be recog- 
nized. In 1974 Ashland College con- 
ferred upon him an honorary doctorate 
degree, and in 1984 Ashland Theologi- 
cal Seminary added to several previous 
honors by declaring him to be sem- 
inary alumnus of the year. 

Thousands of people, 
young and old, have been 
impressed by this man and 
are blessed today because 
of their contact with him. If 
ever the words of life were 
applicable as a benediction, 
these words of scripture are 
appropriate: "Well done, 
thou good and faithful ser- 
vant: thou hast been faithful 
over a few things, I will 
make thee ruler over many 
things: enter thou into the 
joy of thy Lord." 

Dr. Clayton is President 
Emeritus of Ashland Uni- 
versity and served as presi- 
dent of the college from 1948 
to 1977. This tribute is 
adapted from one he pre- 
sented at the memorial serv- 
ice for Dr. Flora. 

October 1995 

Brethren Students: 

You'll like the accent at 

Ashland University. 

It's on you! 

By Dr. Donald Rinehart, Professor of Religion 

be the college of choice for 
Brethren students. Why? Because 
Brethren students deserve the best 
education they can get! You deserve 
to learn in a nurturing environ- 
ment where you will be challenged 
intellectually, spiritually, and social- 
ly. You deserve the finest faculty, 
staff, and physical environment in 
which to develop, stretch, and grow. 
Even more important, you deserve 
the opportunity to become the per- 
son God intends you to become — a 
mature, responsible, and effective 
Christian leader in your chosen 
field. Ashland University provides 
all of this, and more. 

Have you visited Ashland Univer- 
sity lately? Its 98-acre campus is 
recognized as one of the most beau- 
tiful campuses in Ohio. It features 
beautifully maintained buildings 
and incredible flower gardens and 
landscaping. The carefully-tended 
physical surroundings are indica- 
tive of a place that is truly special — 
a place where people CARE. 

This caring is demonstrated by 
the distinguished faculty. The 16 to 
1 ratio of students to faculty mem- 
bers allows time for interaction be- 
tween students and their teachers, 
for intervention when needed, and 
for genuine faculty involvement in 
the lives of students. 

Committed to excellence 

The faculty is committed to in- 
spiring excellence. Because of this 
commitment to excellence, Ashland 
University has become a highly 
respected liberal arts institution 
offering many fine programs. Our 
teacher education program is sec- 
ond to none; pre-med students have 
a phenomenal rate of acceptance 
into medical schools; and, with the 

tation of 
the busi- 
ness pro- 
gram, the 
BSBA de- 
gree is 
edged as 
one of the 
finest in 
the state. 
The uni- 
versity of- 
fers more Dr. Donald Rinehart 

than 80 majors and enjoys an out- 
standing reputation among liberal 
arts colleges and universities. 

Christian experience nurtured 

Not only is Ashland University a 
strong academic institution, it is also 
a place where the Christian experi- 
ence is encouraged and nurtured. 
Numerous activities on campus fos- 
ter growth in spiritual dimensions. 

Ashland University continues to 
require religion as part of the core 
curriculum. Therefore, all Ashland 
University students must take at 
least one 3-hour course in religion. 
Most choose "Exploring the Bible," 

but in some cases students may 
choose from advanced Bible classes. 
Since Brethren students have 
strong biblical backgrounds, they 
add depth, zest, and leadership to 
these classes. 

In addition to this course require- 
ment, Ashland University has many 
extracurricular activities for Chris- 
tians. HOPE Fellowship is an ex- 
tremely active group of approximate- 
ly 75 to 100 students who meet each 
Wednesday to study the Bible, share 
their faith, sing, and pray. The Fel- 
lowship of Christian Athletes is also 
a part of campus life. University 
Church offers exciting Sunday wor- 
ship on campus. Each of these expe- 
riences enhances spiritual growth by 
providing students the opportunity 
to network with other Christians. 

There is an active Christian com- 
munity at Ashland University which 
permeates all levels of the campus 
community. From administration 
to faculty to staff to students, Ash- 
land University has an exciting and 
lively Christian dimension. 

Are all members of the Ashland 
University community Christians? 
No, absolutely not. Like the real 
world, Ashland University has non- 
Christians. What a great opportu- 
nity for Brethren students to wit- 
ness! You can make an eternal dif- 
ference in the lives of others while 
you experience the support and en- 
couragement of Brethren friends. 

Other activities and athletics 

Ashland University's award-win- 
ning activities programming (which 
was chosen number one in the nation 
by the National Association of Col- 
lege Programming) offers much to 
do beyond books and studying. There 


HOPE Fellowship is an extremely active group of approximately 75 to 100 
students who meet each week to study the Bible, share their faith, sing, and pray. 


The Brethren Evangelist 

One Student's Journey 
Through Ashland University 

By Eric Bargerhuff 

intends each of His children to 
grow in the grace and knowledge 
of Christ. I also believe that He in- 
tentionally leads us into environ- 
ments where this type of spiritual 
maturity can be achieved. 

For me, this could not have been 
more true than when I decided to 
attend Ashland University and, 
subsequently, Ashland Theological 
Seminary. Here is where I devel- 
oped a passion to serve the Lord, to 
read His word, and to live as a dis- 
ciple obedient to His calling. 

As is well known, Ashland Uni- 
versity, by design, is not a "Chris- 
tian college." It does not require 
chapel services and does not have a 
strict dress policy or code of behav- 
ior, requiring students to be uni- 
form in all respects. But there is no 
doubt that Ashland University has 
the potential to be a "witness for 
God." Many of the campus minis- 
tries are thriving as never before. 
Recently, a revival took place in the 
hearts of many students and mem- 
bers of the faculty and staff, who 
are putting their faith into practice. 
In that sense, the university cam- 
pus remains a "mission field," where 

those who have experienced revival 
have begun to share this fire, which 
was lit by the Holy Spirit. 

When I arrived at Ashland Uni- 
versity in 1989, I was immediately 
by the 
the peo- 
ple, and 
the "Ac- 
cent on 
the Indi- 
which was 
in all the 
ships I 
soon de- Eric Bargerhuff 

veloped with those who were teach- 
ing me. I knew that not all the pro- 
fessors were Christians, but that 
didn't stop me from learning some- 
thing from each one of them. I be- 
came involved in many of the cam- 
pus activities and Christian fellow- 
ships. The Christian ministries 
really helped me build a strong 
foundation of faith in Christ Jesus. 
I was discipled and mentored by 
Dr. Mike Gleason, Director of Relig- 

Accent on Brethren students 

(continued from previous page) 
are trips, lectures, comedians, coffee- 
house performances, volunteerism 
opportunities, and much more. 

Athletics are a great tradition at 
Ashland University, as evidenced 
by the national rankings in many 
sports. The only N.C.A.A. Division 
II athletic program in Ohio, the 
university boasts 435 All-America 
athletes in 20 sports! 

What about the cost? Ashland 
University offers assistance to those 
who need it. In 1994-95, 89 percent 
of the university's full-time under- 
graduate students received Ash- 
land University-funded grants and 
scholarships. The average award, 
including federal, state, and insti- 
tutional dollars, was $9,400. Impres- 

October 1995 

sive? That $9,400 is a significant 
boost to meeting the cost! 

Why should Ashland University 
be the college of choice for Brethren 
students? Because you'll like the 
accent. It's on you. If you aren't 
convinced, you might ask Mary Goad, 
Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer, Eric Barger- 
huff, Prof. Michael Drushal, Chad 
Geaslen, Kay Winfield, Dr. Richard 
Stoffer, Lanie Roberts, Dr. Michael 
Gleason, Sharon Bowling, Dr. Mary 
Ellen Drushal, Prof. Al Goad, Shirley 
Black, or Prof. Cathy Stoffer. 

On second thought, don't take our 
word for it. Come visit our campus 
and talk to our students, faculty, 
and staff. We think you will agree 
that Ashland University should be 
the college of choice for Brethren 
students. [ft] 

ious Life, and by many of my Chris- 
tian professors, who provided spiri- 
tual guidance and wisdom through- 
out my college years. 

I learned about dorm life and 
bumped shoulders with many peo- 
ple who were much different from 
me — who came from families, back- 
grounds, and cultures that were 
much different from my upbringing 
in rural Indiana. I grew socially, 
emotionally, physically (25 pounds 
worth!), intellectually, and spiritu- 
ally. My life was changing radi- 
cally, and faith began to take on 
new meaning. College is where I 
began making major decisions that 
would affect my life; it's where I 
learned to grow up and become a 
man. I made friendships that will 
last a lifetime, and with these friends 
I shared and developed ideas that 
have shaped my life like nothing 
else could. Most people develop their 
philosophy for living and set life 
goals during their college years, 
and it was no different for me. 

Now I am nearing seminary 
graduation, and soon I will have 
completed seven years at Ashland 
University and Seminary. Looking 
back on my experience as an under- 
graduate at the university, I am 
convinced that this is a school in 
pursuit of excellence. The educa- 
tion was first rate, and so were the 
people and the leadership. The 
same can be said for the seminary, 
whose leadership and mission have 
given it a reputation as one of the 
best in the country. 

The Spirit of God is truly moving 
here in Ashland. Through continued 
support and prayer, many more 
lives will be touched in ways simi- 
lar to the way in which mine has 
been touched. All of us are placed 
on a journey through life. I am 
grateful to our Lord that He sent 
me to Ashland to learn to walk with 
Him along the way. [ft] 

In addition to attending Ashland 
Theological Seminary, Mr. Bargerhuff 
serves as associate pastor of the Uni- 
versity Church in Ashland. He will re- 
ceive a Master of Divinity degree for the 
seminary next spring and then hopes to 
pursue a doctoral degree and eventu- 
ally to teach. He is originally from 
Mexico, Ind., where he was a member 
of the First Brethren Church. He served 
as a Brethren Summer Crusader and 
Intern from 1988 to 1992. 



Mary Ellen Drushal leaves ATS 
to become acting provost at AU 

Ashland, Ohio — Many Brethren 
attending General Conference were 
taken by 
by the 
ment dur- 
ing the 
cal Sem- 

that Dr. 
had re- 
signed as Dr - Maj y Ellen Drushal 
academic dean at the seminary to 
become acting provost at Ashland 

Dr. Drushal, who grew up in The 
Brethren Church and served as Gen- 
eral Conference moderator in 1990, 
joined the seminary in 1984. Dur- 
ing her 11 years at ATS, she held 
various positions, including assis- 
tant then associate professor of 
Christian education; associate 
dean for continuing education; and 
director of curriculum. She was 
named academic dean in 1991. 

As acting provost at Ashland 
University, she will be responsible 
for overseeing faculty and curricu- 
lum. AU President William G. Benz 
said he is pleased that Dr. Drushal 
was willing to assume this impor- 
tant position. "She brings strong ad- 
ministrative skills, solid knowledge of 
curriculum and planning, and a 
good understanding of the univer- 
sity's mission," he said. There is no 


Karen Wicks, Vi Wicks, and Linda Baney grind salt at the herb and spice stall. 

First-century Judean marketplace comes 
to churches in twentieth-century Indiana 

Lakeville, Ind. — On one of the 

hottest days of an Indiana summer, 
65 children and almost as many 
adults from the County Line Breth- 
ren Church and the Cornerstone 
Community Fellowship Church vis- 
ited a 20th-century recreation of a 
Judean marketplace of A.D. 29. 

Each child was placed in one of 
the tribes of Israel and toured the 
marketplace with that tribe. Both 
the adults conducting the market 
and the children who visited were 
dressed in clothes representative of 
that era. The children were given 
"gold nuggets" with which they could 
purchase items from the various 
shops, pay their taxes, and help the 

They had the opportunity to visit 
a carpenter's workshop, an herb 
and spice stall, a weaver's hut, the 
Galilean Fish Market (with a large- 

mouth bass drying in the sun), a 
jewelry shop, a bakery, a pottery 
stall, a musical instrument shop, a 
rope-weaving stall, and a brick- 
maker's work area. The vendors 
provided the children hands-on ex- 
perience in making various items. 
The children especially enjoyed 
making bricks by mixing soil, 
straw, and water with their feet. 

Everyone enjoyed a lunch that 
featured foods of that era — chicken, 
raisins, grapes, apples, Bedouin 
bread, and water. During lunch, 
storm clouds began to move in, 
causing the marketplace to close. 
The children gathered in the "syna- 
gogue," where they sang songs they 
had learned during the day and 
shared their experiences. They also 
watched a dramatization of the 
story of the Widow's Mite. 

— reported by Deanna Phillips 

one on the campus better qualified 
to step in and provide the academic 

Dr. Drushal holds a bachelor of 
music degree in music education 
from AU. She also has a master of 
science degree in curriculum and 
supervision from Peabody College 
and a doctor of philosophy degree 
in educational leadership from 

Vanderbilt University. In addition, 
she has taken post-graduate work 
for deans and presidents at the 
Carnegie Mellon University Insti- 
tute for College Management. 

Seminary President Fred Finks 
expressed his regrets at losing 
Drushal from the seminary but rec- 
ognized the importance of the task 
she has accepted at the university. 

The Brethren Evangelist 

New Brethren classes 
recognized by GCEC 

Ashland, Ohio — Gateway Breth- 
ren Fellowship and Monta Vista 
Brethren Bible Church were recog- 
nized as new Brethren classes by 
the General Conference Executive 
Council at its August 8 meeting. 
Becoming a class is the first step in 
becoming a Brethren church. 

Gateway Brethren Fellowship 
is a group of approximately eight 
families and has been meeting at 
Hagerstown, Md., for nearly a year. 
It is being led by Rev. Gerald A. 
Barr, former pastor of the Hager- 
stown First Brethren Church. The 
class currently meets in the Com- 
munity Room of Oak Ridge Apart- 
ments on Downsville Pike on the 
south side of Hagerstown. 

Monta Vista Brethren Bible 
Church has been meeting at Cross 
Keys, Va., for around eight months. 
This group of approximately four 
families is being led by a lay per- 
son, William R. Rodgers, Jr. The 
class meets at the Cross Keys Ruri- 
tanian Hall near McGaheysville, Va. 

What is a class? 

According to A Manual of Procedure 
for The Brethren Church, "A class may 
be formed by the coming together of 
people from one locality who desire fel- 
lowship with one another and who 
share a common desire to form a Breth- 
ren church. ... A class fulfilling 
'Guidelines for a Brethren Class' devel- 
oped by the Missionary Board of The 
Brethren Church may request by com- 
mon consent to be recognized by the 
General Conference Executive Council. 
A recognized class shall have no dele- 
gate status in the General Conference 
but may operate under the corporate 
auspices of The Brethren Church." 

As a class grows, it may request status 
as a "mission congregation." And when 
a mission congregation has sufficient 
members and can assume responsibility 
for its own financial obligations, it may 
request recognition as a "church." 

Brethren Church at New Lebanon 
draws Easter crowd in September 

New Lebanon, Ohio — There were 
no Easter bonnets, but it looked 
like an Easter crowd on Sunday 
morning, September 17, at The 
Brethren Church in New Lebanon. 

Ever since he became interim pas- 
tor last spring, Dr. Charles Munson 
has been challenging the congrega- 
tion to surpass the Easter attend- 
ance of 231. It happened 
September 17, when a 
crowd of 246 filled the sanc- 
tuary for a "Festival of Joy." 

Dr. Munson had encour- 
aged attendance for the Fes- 
tival of Joy by telling the 
congregation that if anyone 
failed to come for other than 
a good reason, he would go 
to that person's house and 
sing — at midnight. 

The Festival of Joy serv- 
ice included much singing 
and special music, and a mes- 
sage, The Joy of the Lord 
is Your Strength" (Neh. 
8:9-12), by Dr. Munson. It 
also included the baptism 
of three young people, the 
second baptism in as many 
weeks, with a total of 8 bap- 
tized on the two Sundays. 

The Brethren at New 
Lebanon were also looking 
forward to an Easter crowd 
Sunday, October 1, 

don, and his wife Sherrie. Prior to 
October 1, the congregation held 
three Sunday evening "Take the 
Word and Pray" services, a time of 
preparing their hearts and lives for 
the coming of a new pastor. Each of 
the services was followed by The 
Gathering," a time of fellowship 
and refreshments. 


when they would say a sad 
farewell to Dr. Munson but 
joyfully welcome their new 
pastor, Rev. Russell Gor- 

When 36 members and friends of the Cru- 
saders Sunday school class at New Lebanon 
piled into a bus in July and headed for Nash- 
ville, Term., this home- 
less man (at r.) showed 
up to send them off 
with a prayer. Despite 
his shabby appear- 
ance and shock of red 
hair, when he prayed 
he sounded remarkably 
like interim pastor Dr. 
Charles Munson. 

The Crusaders at- 
tended the Grand Ole 
Opry, visited Opry- 
land Park, and had 
lunch and a ride on 
the General Jackson 
steamboat on the 
Cumberland River. On 
their return trip, they 
stopped at a rest area 
and held a Sunday 
morning worship serv- 
ice under the trees. 
While they enjoyed the 
activities, the most im- 
portant part of the 
trip was spending time together as Christian 
friends. The class is like family, with some of 
the group having been together for 45 years. 

Logans arrive in Djibouti 

Djibouti, Republique de Djibouti 

— Brethren Missionaries Mark and 
Chantal Logan arrived in the city of 
Djibouti in northeastern Africa at 
the end of August. 

In a September 18 letter to the 
Missionary Board, Mark said the 
first morning they were there, the 
thermometer read 95°, and that was 
in their kitchen! It then got even 
hotter outside. Mark added: The 
weather is changing though (down 
to 88 in the kitchen this morning), 
and we do have air conditioning in 
the bedroom. I think we'll make it." 

October 1995 

Chantal will probably teach (Eng- 
lish or French) at a new junior high 
school in the poorest section of the 
city. Classes had not yet begun be- 
cause the teachers were on strike 
and the principal had announced 
that he had no operating budget. 

Because Mark has a degree in elec- 
tronics, he was put in charge of main- 
taining computers at the Ministry 
of Education central offices. He, too, 
had not yet started work, because 
no office was yet available for him. 

Mark's comment about both his 
and Chantal's work situations was, 
"It will be interesting." Keep the 
Logans in your prayers. 



Allison inins f ariiiltv 

Ashland, Ohio — Dr. Judy (Gif- 

ford) Allison was recently appointed 

Ass istant 

Professor of 



at Ashland 



Dr. Allison 
is from Derby, 
Kans., where 
she became a 
member of 
the Derby Dr. Judy Allison 

First Brethren Church as a teen- 
ager. After several years away from 
Kansas for college and graduate 
school, she returned to Derby with 
her husband, John, and they both 
were active in the Derby Church, in 
time being chosen to serve as a dea- 
con couple. The Allisons moved to 
Ashland in the summer of 1993 so 
that John could attend the seminary. 

Dr. Allison has a Ph.D. in Coun- 
seling Psychology from Ball State 
University in Muncie, Ind. She 
worked as a therapist at Charter 
Hospital in Wichita, Kans., from 
1988-93; as clinical director at 
Lakeshore Counseling Center in 
Sandusky, Ohio, from 1993-94; and 
as a licensed psychologist at Cor- 
nerstone Psychological Affiliates 
from 1994 to the present. 

At ATS she will teach counseling 
courses in the Midwest Counseling 
Program (the on-campus counsel- 
ing program for students preparing 
to minister through Christian 
counseling centers or within the 
church). She will also be responsi- 
ble for teaching courses in the LPCC 
program (an advanced study pro- 
gram for persons seeking advanced 
counseling accreditation within the 
State of Ohio). 

The Allisons have one child, a son, 
Michael, who is three years old. 

Todd & Tracy Ruggles 
Return to Mexico City 

Mexico City, Mexico — Brethren 
missionaries Todd and Tracy Rug- 
gles arrived back in Mexico City on 
September 22, following a three- 
month furlough in the United States. 

Their return trip by van was an 
adventure that included prolonged 
custom checks at the U.S /Mexican 
border, heavy fog in the mountains 
of Mexico, and a monsoon-like thun- 
der storm that caused dangerous 
water puddles on the highway, poor 
visibility, landslides, and several ac- 
cidents (involving others, not Todd 
and Tracy!). Todd commented, "We 
finally made it, though. I think all 
the events on the way down made 
us even more happy to be home!" 

Todd and Tracy were disappointed 
to learn upon their arrival that an 
apartment they were to move into 
was not yet ready for them. Fortu- 
nately, they can stay in their for- 
mer apartment temporarily, but 
this means they will soon need to 
go through the disruption of mov- 

Wheaton, 111. — World Relief of 
the National Association of Evan- 
gelicals (NAE) recently received a 
four-year, $1 -million grant from the 
United States Agency for Interna- 
tional Development to begin a 
health program in Gaza province of 

The program, which will teach 
basic health and survival skills to 
mothers, will reach more than 
55,000 women and children. It will 
result in fewer child deaths in this 
African country, where currently 
almost three out of ten children die 
before their fifth birthday, giving it 
the fourth-highest child morality 
rate in the world. 

World Relief has an established 
reputation in the targeted commu- 
nities because of work done in pre- 
vious programs, including a well- 
drilling project in which 103 wells 
were drilled in drought-prone Gaza. 

World Relief of NAE is the agency 
through which Brethren World Re- 
lief monies are channeled to areas 
of need around the world. 

Todd and Tracy Ruggles 

ing again, rather than making the 
move immediately upon their return. 

They also learned upon their re- 
turn that a woman (Sarah), whom 
Tracy had been visiting periodi- 
cally to check her health, had lost 
her husband while Todd and Tracy 
were gone. His sudden death 
brought good things, however, for 
Sarah, her sister, and both of her 
sister's children prayed to accept 
Jesus as Savior. Todd and Tracy 
had been witnessing to them about 
Christ for over a year. 

Continue to pray for Todd and 
Tracy as they resume their mis- 
sionary service in Mexico city. 

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Vol. 117, No. 10 

A newsletter for Brethren people 

November 1995 

Ronald W. Waters, Director of Brethren Church Ministries, looks at: 

Where God is leading us in starting new churches 

THE 1992 General Conference 
established four "Priorities for 
the Nineties." These four priorities 
— becoming like Christ, sharing our 
faith, training growth leaders, and 
forming new churches — serve as 
guides for Brethren Church minis- 
tries through 
the remainder 
of this decade. 

is the month 
of our tradi- 
tional empha- 
sis on home 
missions and 
on starting 
new churches. 
Therefore, let 
us look at 
where God is 
leading us re- 
garding this 

The Priority: Forming New 
Churches (Church Planting). 
To extend the ministry of the church 
to groups of people who have had 
inadequate exposure to the Chris- 
tian faith, through the formation of 
new churches among a variety of 
people groups, with styles and for- 
mats appropriate to those groups. 

This priority calls us to "extend 
the ministry of the church" by mov- 
ing out of the comfort of our own 
congregations and looking for un- 
churched people in our communi- 
ties and beyond. Our target must 
be "groups of people who have had 
inadequate exposure to the Chris- 
tian faith." 

How do we accomplish this? 
'Through the formation of new 
churches among a variety of people 

Rev. Ronald W. Waters 

groups, with styles and formats ap- 
propriate to those groups." 

Most of us are quite comfortable 
with the style of worship used in our 
churches. Our comfort results from 
years of familiarity with one ap- 
proach. But for many unchurched 
persons, what is comfortable 
for us is entirely unfamiliar to 
them. If we are to reach many 
of the unchurched, we will have 
to design churches and wor- 
ship services that will clearly 
communicate in their heart 
language and in the musical 
styles they prefer. That does 
not mean we need to throw 
out the old; it does mean that 
alternative services and new 
churches will be needed. 

Look carefully at your com- 
munity and you may identify 
groups of people that no church 
is reaching. Your church could 
start a new congregation at another 
location or begin a second (or third) 
worship service in your own build- 
ing with a style that would appeal 
to one of these groups of people. 

75 new churches this decade 

I believe that God wants The 
Brethren Church to start 75 new 
churches this decade. To accomplish 
this vision will take more than The 
Brethren Church National Office or 
the Missionary Board working 
alone. It will even take more than 
our combined efforts as districts. 
Bringing such a vision to reality 
will require scores of Brethren con- 
gregations like yours accepting the 
challenge to start a new church. 

My favorite example of this is the 
Bethlehem Brethren Church in 

Harrisonburg, Virginia. Several 
years ago Pat Velanzon, pastor of 
this city church of about 50 people, 
started a new church in a rural 
area of the county. Located on U.S. 
340, the 340 Brethren Church be- 
came a class (a church in its forma- 
tive stages) that appealed to many 
who would otherwise not have en- 
tered the doors of a church. The 340 
Brethren Church recently merged 
with the Bethlehem congregation, 
but only after several years of min- 
istry to a neglected group of people. 
In July, the Stockton, California, 
Brethren Church started a Filipino 
congregation on Sunday evenings to 
expand its outreach to this under- 
reached people group. Your church 
could do likewise. Where is God 
leading you in starting a new 

An ever-growing partnership 

To accomplish a goal of 75 new 
churches, we also need to see an 
ever-growing partnership between 
local churches, districts, and the 
national Missionary Board. I want 
to commend Russ Gordon, who re- 
cently completed his role as direc- 
tor of home missions. Russ worked 

In this issue 

Starting new churches . . 
Our Thanksgiving heritage 
A cruise in your future? . . 
Understanding the Bible . 
Religion and public schools 

Ministry pages 

News of the Brethren . . . 




The Women's Outlook Newsletter 
is in the center of this issue. 

Starting new churches (cont.) 

behind the scenes with all the dis- 
trict mission boards to forge a 
strong relationship for church 
planting. The result has been dis- 
tricts supporting one another in 
starting new churches. 

Cooperation illustrated 

The new church that was started 
last fall in Medina, Ohio, is an ex- 
cellent example of this kind of co- 
operation. The church started as 
part of a class on church planting at 
Ashland Theological Seminary, 
with the active involvement of the 
Ohio District Mission Board and the 
national Missionary Board. In ad- 
dition, the Central District Mission 
Board provided financial support 
and assistance with 'The Phone's 
for You!" telephoning. And the Ber- 
lin congregation in Pennsylvania 
also provided financial assistance. 
Cooperation like this in other 
church-planting situations should 
allow for a multiplicity of success- 
ful new church starts. 

Another example of cooperation 
in starting new churches is the 
Church Planting Summit held last 
March. At this gathering, represent- 
atives from every district encour- 
aged one another and shared ideas 
for new approaches to starting 
churches. The summit was charac- 
terized by interest in partnership 
in this vital ministry. Churches of 
our western region, in particular, are 
considering ways to work together 
to "take the West" for Christ and 
The Brethren Church, with a vision 
for doubling the number of congre- 
gations west of the Mississippi. 

As I noted last month, change is 
always challenging. But let's take 
advantage of the opportunities af- 
forded by a changing world to share 
the unchanging message of Jesus 
Christ. [ft] 

The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) is pub- 
lished monthly (except July and August issues are 
combined) by The Brethren Church, Inc. 524 Col- 
lege Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 (telephone: 
419-289-1708; E-mail:; fax: 419- 
281-0450). Authors' views are not necessarily those 
of The Brethren Church. Editor: Richard C. Win- 
field. Subscription rates: Sent free to Brethren 
Church members; $14.50 per year to others. Mem- 
ber: Evangelical Press Association. Second Class 
Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio. Postmaster: Send 
address changes to The Brethren Church, 524 
College Avenue, Ashland, OH 44805-3792. 

Preserving Our Thanksgiving Heritage 

By Gerald Barr 

THANKSGIVING is a thoroughly 
American holiday and a thor- 
oughly religious one as well. It was 
begun by early European settlers to 
this continent as an act of devotion 
to the God whom they loved and 
who they believed had provided for 
them through difficult times. 

In recent times, however, the 
holiday has fallen on hard times, as 
our country has turned more and 
more away from the God our Puri- 
tan forefathers loved and wor- 
shiped. The Pilgrims are character- 
ized today as political dissenters who 
are lauded for their bold break with 
a repressive political regime in 
England. But their Christian foun- 
dations and their desire to seek a 
place where they could worship the 
God of the Bible are almost totally 
ignored by textbooks and removed 
by law from the attention of the 
American people. We are being sold 
a politically correct bill of goods. 

The truth is that the Pilgrims 
and many of the other early settlers 
in America were devoutly religious 
people in much the same vein as we 
who are Brethren. They were con- 
cerned about the lack of spirituality 
in their countries, and they desired 
to bring a new vitality to their own 
spiritual lives. When forbidden by 
their governments to worship as 
they saw fit and when persecuted 
because they continued to do so, 
they fled to a place where they 
thought they would be safe from 
government interference in their 
lives. In the "new world" they laid 
the foundations of a Christian way 
of life that thrived for 200 years. 

Now that spiritual foundation is 
being threatened by the very people 

who h 

much from 
pies they now 
must be firm 

benefited so 

the princi- 

decry. We 

in our convic- 

tions that our founding fathers were 
not wrong in their commitment to 
Jesus Christ. 

The naysayers of today are wrong 
in their assertions about the Pil- 
grims and other early settlers. The 
Pilgrims were Christians who came 
here to worship God and to serve 
Him when they were forbidden to 
do so in their homelands. They 
were a biblical people, and their 
godly values made our nation 
strong in its early days. 

If we are to remain strong and 
free to worship God as our fore- 
fathers intended, we must cling firm- 
ly to the values and traditions that 
gave our forefathers their courage. 
And we must seek after the God who 
alone can keep us holy and blameless 
before Him. [ft] 

Rev. Barr is pastor of Gateway Breth- 
ren Fellowship, a new Brethren class 
meeting in Hagerstown, Md. This arti- 
cle first appeared in the November 
1994 newsletter of the Hagerstown 
First Brethren Church, where he for- 
merly pas to red. 

c*K Pontius' Puddle 


The Brethren Evangelist 

Is there a cruise in your future? 

By Ray Allison 

future? Maybe there is, and you 
aren't aware of it yet. When God 
called Jonah, Jonah decided to see 
the world by ship. But God had 
other plans, and Jonah ended up 
with a submarine ride instead. 

You can deny God's call on your 
life, but that will only cause you 
pain and frustration. In the end, 
you have to give in to Him, so why 
not cooperate from the beginning 
and save yourself the suffering? 

Like Jonah, I had better things to 
do than heed God's call. I had a life 
to live and things to see. But after 
40 years of disobedience and of run- 
ning from God) I, too, ended up in 
the belly of a great fish and could 
no longer deny what God wanted 
me to do. 

A variety of circumstances showed 
me that God was calling me to short- 
term missions — and possibly to long- 
term missions in the future as well. 
Now I am so excited about what 
God has in store for me that my 
anticipation is similar to what I ex- 
perienced as a child on Christmas 

Ray Allison has been a member of 
the Jefferson Brethren Church of 
Goshen, Indiana, since its inception 
in 1969. He went to Russia for ten 
days in the summer of 1993, for two 
weeks in January 1994 and in Janu- 
ary 1995, and he plans to return next 
January. During the summer trip he 
distributed Christian literature, and in 
the January trips he helps distribute 
care packs (notebooks, pencils, pens, 
personal-care items, etc.) in schools, 
hospitals, and orphanages. He has 
also had an opportunity to interact 
one-on-one with Russian people. 

Mr. Allison's ministry trips are not 
limited to Russia. This fall he spent 
the week of October 29-November 4 
as part of a team of six from the Jeffer- 
son Church who worked on a construc- 
tion project at a school for delinquent 
children in the Dominican Republic. 

When not on missions trips, Mr. Al- 
lison is employed as a cement-truck 
driver. His trips to Russia, with Josh 
McDowell Ministry, are financed per- 
sonally, with help from family, friends, 
and the Jefferson Brethren Church. 

Eve, when I would be so excited 
that I found it hard to sleep. 

As I look forward to my fourth 
trip to the former Soviet Union in 
January 1996, 1 can't help but won- 
der where God will lead me next. 
Now I can look back and see how 
His hand was guiding me 
every step of the way as 
He prepared me to serve 
others in our world today. 

I had thought I could 
control my life and do 
what I wanted to do. But 
after participating in a 
class on gifts of the Spirit 
at the Jefferson Breth- 
ren Church, I was made 
aware once again that I 
should be involved in His 
service. Only after giv- 
ing God 100-percent con- 
trol of my life were my 
eyes finally opened to 
what He wanted me to 
do. Even so, the heavens 
did not open up with a 
clear message delivered 
by Federal Express. This 
was because I was still 
on my schedule instead 
of on God's. 

About that time I had 
a conversation with Mark Baker, 
who had recently returned from a 
short-term mission trip to Russia.* 
Mark convinced me that my life 
would be changed if I, too, went to 
Russia, and I began to consider 
some kind of mission work. But it 
wasn't until after Mark's untimely 
death that his word's really made 
sense to me. When I received the 
news of his passing, I knew in- 
stantly that I was going to Russia 
to obey God's call and to continue 
Mark's "Unfinished Journey" to 
share the Good News of Jesus 
Christ with the Russian people.** 

Russia is a ripe spiritual harvest 
field right now, but it is also a bat- 
tleground. The cults are fighting 

for every inch of ground and for 
every soul who is willing to listen to 
their schemes and lies about eter- 
nal life here on earth with Satan. If 
we Christians could send one-half 
or even one-quarter of the numbers 
of missionaries to Russia that the 
cults are sending, I believe that we 
would see a revival in that country 
that would far surpass what has 
taken place on any other mission 
field we have ever seen. 

The Russian people have lost all 

*See "An Unfinished Journey to Russia," 
pp. 4-5, October 1992 Evangelist. 

**See "Continuing an Unfinished Journey 
to Russia," pp. 4-6, April 1994 issue. 

Ray Allison has found that he can befriend Rus- 
sian children more quickly as a clown. We see him 
here — as Raggedy Andy — with a patient at a hospi- 
tal for terminally ill children in Moscow. 

hope because of their countries fail- 
ing economy and its corrupt gov- 
ernment. The people don't know 
whom to trust and what direction 
to go. They have been told for more 
than 70 years what to do and what 
to wear and whom to worship. So I 
am sure you can understand their 
confusion because of all the free- 
doms they have now. 

Their only hope is in Jesus Christ 
and the salvation that He alone can 
offer them. That is why we need to 
act quickly to bring the gospel mes- 
sage to the Russian people while 
their country is still open to the 
Western world and while they are 
still willing to listen to the truth 
and not to the lies of the cults. 

Right now ask yourself this ques- 
tion: "Am I seeking God's guidance 
for my life, or am I just out for a 




November 1995 

Understanding spiritual gifts 

By Brian H. Moore 

today regarding the gifts of the 
Holy Spirit. At the one extreme are 
those we could call cessationists; 
at the other extreme are those we 
could call sensationalists. 

Cessationists insist that the 
"miracle gifts" of the New Testa- 
ment ceased with the Apostles. Ac- 
cording to this view, no true "signs 
and wonders" — such as gifts of 
tongues, interpretation of tongues, 
miraculous healings — are now tak- 
ing place because they were per- 
formed only "by the apostles" (Acts 

Sensationalists, on the other 
hand, are thoroughly enamored with 
spectacular demonstrations of the 
power of God. They may even hold 
them as evidence of true Christian- 
ity or of a true church. For some 
sensationalists, the more bizarre the 
manifestations, the greater the at- 
traction. A true sensationalist would 
uncritically endorse "the Toronto 
blessing" with its "holy laughter," 
barking, mooing, and growling! 

I would like to note at this point 
that a cessationist wouldn't mind 
being so labeled. But a sensational- 
ist would resent and deny the label. 
It should also be noted that I am 
using these labels to portray a spec- 
trum of views on spiritual gifts 
which may be present among the 
Brethren. Like any label, these are 
limited in what they can convey. 

Back to basics 

A fundamental principle of bibli- 
cal interpretation according to his- 
toric Brethren practice is the prin- 
ciple of the inner and the outer 
words. (See "The Inner and Outer 
Words" by Dale Stoffer, November 1993 
issue, pp. 9-10.) This principle teaches 
that the inner word (God speaking 
by His Spirit) complements the 
outer word (Scripture) and does not 
contradict it. 

According to this principle, cessa- 
tionism is not representative of the 

*Quotations from the Bible are from the 
New International Version. 

Brethren because its case is built 
on one or two proof -texts, such as 1 
Corinthians 13:8-9, while it ignores 
other teaching of Scripture as well 
as Christian experience. Thus it 
emphasizes the outer word while 
minimizing the inner word. 

Sensationalism, on the other 
hand, cannot be representative of 
the Brethren because it loses its 
balance in favor of experience and 
what appears to happen. Thus it 
emphasizes the inner word at the 
expense of the outer word. 

A "centrist" position 

If we follow the inner- and outer- 
word principle, if we accept the wit- 
ness of the Spirit and Scripture, we 
will likely come to a more centrist 
position. This view would not con- 
fine "signs and wonders" to the 
presence of the Apostles but would 
allow for their validity today. It 
would not, however, allow the spec- 
tacular to dominate the life of the 
church, because, according to the 
written word, these phenomena are 
secondary to the nature and pur- 
pose of the church (see 1 Cor. 12:28- 
31 and 14:6-20). 

The centrist position would em- 
phasize that there are many gifts (1 
Cor. 12:4-6), most of which are not 
sensational at all. These gifts are to 
be used by all church members and 
are to be exercised seven days a 
week. They are not limited to a 
specific time and place (such as a 
worship service) or to a few people 
(such as up-front leaders). Use of 
the gifts creates a well-rounded life 
for the body of Christ. 

Having tried to draw some posi- 

Correspondence Welcomed 

The members of the Committee on 
Doctrine, Research, and Publication in- 
vite readers to suggest topics or Bible 
passages to discuss in future articles 
in this column. Send questions, com- 
ments, or suggestions to the commit- 
tee in care of The Brethren Evangel- 
ist, 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 

tional lines regarding spiritual 
gifts and having reminded us of an 
important principle of biblical in- 
terpretation, I would like now to 
make a few observations about 
spiritual gifts that should be ac- 
ceptable to all Brethren: 

1. Gifts are gifts! The word used 
most frequently in the New Testa- 
ment to refer to spiritual gifts is 
rooted in the word for grace. A gift 
by its nature rules out merit or ob- 
ligation. A gift isn't deserved and it 
can't be earned. Furthermore, the 
giving of a gift is at the discretion of 
the giver (1 Cor. 12:11; Heb. 2:4). 

the Bible 

then, with 
all for- 
mulas or 
steps or 
means of 
a gift. 
more, a 
gift by its 
nature cancels pride. Away, then, 
with any sense of superiority or 
"levels" of spirituality based on 
spiritual gifts. The Apostle Paul 
was emphatic about this (see 1 Cor. 

Gifts and talents 

2. Gifts are both natural and su- 
pernatural. Some people link the 
receiving of a gift to the experience 
of becoming a Christian. But others 
ask, "What about the 'natural' abili- 
ties people have?" Calling the latter 
"talents" while calling the former 
"spiritual gifts" may be of some 
help. But in actual practice, does it 

Natural talents become "spiritual 
gifts" when used for the purposes of 
the body of Christ. All of our special 
abilities are gifts, even if we inher- 
ited some of them from our parents. 
Some gifts apparently do come by 
special, direct means (see 1 Tim. 
4:14), but that should not be seen 
as a limitation on what God can do. 
Natural or supernatural, all gifts 
are to be used for the good of the 
Christian community and for the 
glory of its Head. 

3. Gifts are to be used. "Each one 
should use whatever gift he has re- 
ceived ..." (1 Pet. 4:10). In New 

The Brethren Evangelist 

Testament times as well as today, 
some Christians tend to "neglect 
the gift" and join the ranks of the 
idle. Here is something to think 
about: In the light of New Testa- 
ment teaching on spiritual gifts, es- 
pecially its use of the imagery of 
members of a body (1 Cor. 12), what 
is an inactive member? Are those 
who are not using their gifts in- 
active members? Do our church 
bodies have limp hands, paralyzed 
legs, non-functioning ears, eyes 
that refuse to open, mouths that 
refuse to speak? How many active 

members do we really have in our 
churches — not just people who 
"show up" on Sunday morning or 
who make a financial contribution 
sometime during the year? How 
many are actively using their gifts 
as members of Christ's body? Gifts 
are to be used! 

4. Gifts have specific purposes. 
"Each one should use whatever gift 
he has received to serve others .... 
so that in all things God may be 
praised through Jesus Christ" (1 
Pet. 4:10-11). Gifts are to be used 
to serve others and to praise God. 

Reaping where we have not sown 

By Kathy Velanzon 

saved at the Maurertown, 
Va., Brethren Church 21 years 
ago. Shortly afterward we took 
part in "Layman Alive" training 
and learned how to share our faith. 

We became involved in a 
weekly visitation program and 
enthusiastically called on neigh- 
bors of the church and other re- 
ferred contacts. Many of the peo- 
ple we visited were very friendly, 
expressed appreciation for our 
visit, and said, "Yes, we will def- 
initely come to church." But they 

It was surprising and disap- 
pointing. Our hopes were raised 
every Tuesday and dashed every 

Then a strange thing began to 
happen. People whom no one had 
visited just showed up for wor- 
ship. Some had heard about the 
church from another source; 
some just dropped in while 

While eating at McDonald's, we 
were approached by a family who 
saw us return thanks and heard 
us talking about a Christian con- 
cert. They asked us about our 
church and invited themselves 

We met another family at a 
PTO meeting. They invited us to 
visit their home, and we invited 
them to attend our church. 

Every Sunday there would be 
"strangers" in our midst who 

came for all kinds of "coinciden- 
tal" reasons. We (the visitation 
team) would all look at one an- 
other, shrug our shoulders, and 
praise the Lord because we real- 
ized He was adding to the 

The same thing is happening at 
the Bethlehem Brethren Church 
(Harisonburg, Va.), where my 
husband now pastors. We've 
been inviting church neighbors to 
our services with some success, 
but the Lord is rewarding our 
faith from other areas as well. 

A man watching "TV church" 
gave his life to the Lord but felt 
the need to be baptized and to 
join a church. He called my hus- 
band, came to church services, 
was baptized, and has become a 
faithful member. His wife has 
transferred her membership to 
our church, and last week his 
friend was baptized. His mother- 
in-law, who is home-bound, re- 
quested baptism at home to con- 
firm her relationship with Jesus. 

Another couple who were mem- 
bers of the now inactive 340 
Brethren Church have trans- 
ferred their memberships to our 
church, and others from that con- 
gregation are attending as well. 
All these people live 15 to 20 
miles from the church. They, too, 
are our "neighbors." 

We believe that God rewards 
obedience. As we reach out, He 
draws in. [ft] 

They are always other-directed, 
never self-directed. They are al- 
ways "for the common good" (1 Cor. 
12:7), "so that the church may be 

"Do our church bodies have 
limp hands, paralyzed legs, 
non-functioning ears, eyes 
that refuse to open, mouths 
that refuse to speak?" 

edified" (1 Cor. 14:5). Gifts are not 
for private enjoyment but for the 
encouragement of the body. 

Spiritual gifts do not cause chaos 
and division, because the Holy 
Spirit would then be fighting 
against Himself. Abuse of some 
spiritual gifts (using them in an ar- 
rogant or immature manner) may 
cause distress in the community of 
faith. This, after all, was what 
prompted Paul's instructions to the 
Corinthians. But if our gifts are 
subjected to these tests — do they 
serve others and praise God — they 
will be found to be helpful, positive, 
and edifying in the church. 

5. Gifts are to be discerned. Spiri- 
tual gifts were used long before 
methods were devised to help peo- 
ple "discover" them. How did these 
earliest believers know what their 
gifts were? Romans 12:6-8 and 1 
Peter 4:10-11 assume that believ- 
ers know their gifts. Yet the New 
Testament puts no emphasis on 
finding out what one's gift is. 

I believe the early believers dis- 
cerned their gifts by actually prac- 
ticing them. By finding their places 
as believers in an unfriendly world, 
they lived out their gifts. Not to be 
overlooked would be the discerning 
influence of others in the body of 
Christ, who would encourage each 
member to follow the leading of the 
Spirit. This formula still works. As 
the Nike commercial says, "Just do 

Much more could be said on this 
subject. But perhaps these thoughts 
will suffice to stimulate us to use 
our gifts to serve others and to 
bring praise to God through our 
Lord Jesus Christ. [ft] 

Dr. Moore is pastor of the St. James, 
Md., Brethren Church and serves on 
the Committee for Doctrine, Research, 
and Publication, which is preparing 
this series of articles. 

November 1995 

A common-sense approach to 
religion and the public schools 

By Dale Hanson Bourke 

AS STUDENTS across the coun- 
try returned this year to the 
nation's public schools, some car- 
ried a new item along with their 
fresh notebooks and sharpened 
pencils: a Bible. 

Before lunch, some will bow their 
heads in prayer or, if seated with 
like-minded friends, they may even 
pray aloud. 

During discussions about litera- 
ture, art, or biology, they may ex- 
press their religious beliefs. 

And after school, as the ski or 
business club meets, they may con- 
duct a Bible study or prayer meet- 
ing on school property. They may 
even advertise the meeting and in- 
vite their friends to participate. 

Such activities have always been 
protected, but now public school 
teachers and administrators have 
been educated about the facts. 

When the Department of Educa- 
tion issued a memo July 12 on "Re- 
ligious Expression in Public Schools" 
and in early August distributed a 
simplified version to public schools, 
it took a common-sense approach to 
what has become an emotional is- 
sue. It stated the facts, simply and 
without complex interpretation. 

Not religion-free zones 

"The First Amendment does not 
convert our schools into religion- 
free zones," President Clinton stated 
in a speech that coincided with the 
release of the guidelines. 

"If a student is told he can't wear 
a yarmulke, for example, we have 
an obligation to tell the school the 
law says the student can. ... If a 
student is told she cannot bring a 
Bible to school, we have to tell the 
school, 'No, the law guarantees her 
the right to bring the Bible to school.' " 

A teacher who reads the document 
can clearly understand which ac- 
tivities are protected and which are 
out of bounds. The only gray area 
seems to occur around proselytiz- 
ing. While students may freely ex- 
press their beliefs and even try to 

win over other students through the 
distribution of literature, they may 
not "harass" their classmates. 

Surprising freedom 

A parent who reads the guide- 
lines may be surprised by just how 
much freedom is guaranteed for re- 
ligious expression in public schools. 

And a student — whatever his or 
her faith — will have a hard time 
thinking of some activity or expres- 
sion not protected, as long as it does 
not interfere with the freedoms of 

Whether it is the right to wear 
religious symbols or clothing or the 
freedom to be excused from activi- 
ties that violate one's beliefs, the 
guidelines offer far-reaching pro- 
tection of student religious rights. 

Now the issue is, how much will 
these freedoms be exercised? While 
some groups continue to seek an 
amendment guaranteeing the right 
to school prayer, how many stu- 
dents will actually pray in public 

Parents and students who have 
voiced concerns over these free- 
doms have won a victory. Now it is 
up to them to put these opportuni- 
ties into practice. 

Parents can start by asking class- 
room teachers and administrators 
if they have read and understood 
the Department of Education 
guidelines. They may also want to 

distribute the guidelines at a PTA 
meeting so that all parents can 
have access to the information. 
(Copies are available from the De- 
partment of Education at 1-800- 

All families — whether religious 
or not — should discuss the implica- 
tions of protecting religious free- 
doms and emphasize the value of 
respecting one another's expres- 
sions of faith. For peer-conscious 
children, the existence of freedoms 
means little if they fear taunting or 
exclusion by classmates. 

Parents of various faiths might 
also want to form a committee to 
help educate the school community 
about religious holidays, practices, 
and beliefs. Special presentations 
may be brought into the